Mark Whitehead 10 March 2016

Sandwell becomes final member of combined authority

Sandwell has become the seventh and final council in the West Midlands to sign up to a proposed new combined authority.

It joins Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils as a member of the emerging West Midlands Combined Authority.

The decision by councillors in Sandwell means the parliamentary process can now go ahead for the new authority to be established in June.

Cllr Bob Sleigh, chair of the shadow board for the WMCA, said: 'These are exciting times as local authorities show a commitment to working together to move powers and funding from Westminster to the West Midlands.

'We believe that by joining forces, with additional support and input from the three Local Enterprise Partnerships and a number of district councils, we will have the ability to make the right decisions that will best serve the region as a whole.'

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will have a number of new powers, including control of a new £36m a year funding allocation over 30 years, and the elected mayor will have planning powers and control over the transport budget.

Jan Britton reflects on his role of interim chief operating officer at WMCA in The MJ (£).

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