William Eichler 17 November 2015

West Midlands signs devolution deal

West Midlands signs devolution deal image

A devolution deal for the West Midlands has been agreed, which includes £1bn of Government investment and an elected mayor.

Members of the West Midlands Combined Authority shadow board met with Government ministers, including the chancellor George Osborne, today in Coventry to sign the agreement.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will cover an area that runs from Telford and Wolverhampton in the west to Coventry and Nuneaton in the East and from Tamworth in the North to Redditch in the South.

It 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.

The Liverpool City Region has also signed a devolution agreement that will see more powers devolved from Whitehall in exchange for a directly elected mayor.

Chancellor George Osborne said: ‘We want to make the Midlands Britain’s engine for growth and this deal will give the region the powerful levers it needs to make that happen. We have worked with local council leaders across the party divide, and today we are announcing a collaborative way of working that would not have been countenanced in this region even just a few years ago.’

Cllr Bob Sleigh, chair of the shadow board of the West Midlands Combined Authority, also commented: ‘We are committed to building on our strengths, including our exports and our inward investment, and to working towards increasing the £80bn that the region currently contributes to the UK economy.

'This proposed deal, which must be agreed by each individual authority, allows us to keep more of the income that we generate and to re-invest it across the region, without the need to refer back to government.’

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