Talks are underway on a level two devolution deal for the south-east Midlands.
The two new Northamptonshire unitaries, the three councils covering the historic county of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Council view themselves as a single functional economic area.
Milton Keynes leader Peter Marland said there was ‘no appetite’ for a directly-elected mayor but the region was ‘looking at options’.
Cllr Marland said discussions had not yet been held on a potential combined authority but he was keen for the region to have greater powers over health, policing and infrastructure.
He added: ‘We’ve been moving down the road of closer working but we don’t want to set something up for the sake of setting it up.’