September 29th, 2016

Bromsgrove District Council may have re-think over combined authority

Bromsgrove District Council may have re-think over combined authority Bromsgrove District Council may have re-think over combined authority
Updated: 1:08 pm, May 20, 2016

BROMSGROVE District Council will be looking again at whether to join the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The authority decided not to join last year when other local councils decided to sign up as it was thought there was not enough information about the ‘devolution deal’ and voting powers for non-consitiuent members.

In July the WMCA released its statement of intent and in November signed its first devolution deal, the largest nationally.

Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Margaret Sherrey said: “We have been approached by the Chairman of the Shadow West Midlands Combined Authority as to whether we want to consider becoming a non-constituent member.

“Since we last were approached by the WMCA it has progressed significantly and has secured the largest devolution deal in the country – and the WMCA is still growing.

“We also received feedback from the Worcestershire delegation who met with Lord Heseltine in April over a potential devolution deal where it is clear that Government are now working on larger geographic footprints than single counties without a mayoral model.

“In addition when we met with the Secretary of State he made it clear that in future significant powers and funding will be devolved to the West Midlands Combined Authority.

“Given all this we have another opportunity to consider joining and I believe the council needs to consider our position so that we don’t potentially miss out.”

The WMCA works together to move powers from Whitehall to the West Midlands and consists of locally elected politicians who know the region best.

Individually councils will continue to deliver local services and retain their identity and sovereignty but on the big decisions will have the resources to work together better.

Non-constituent membership provides the opportunity for collaboration across the region, a seat at the table to engage with and influence the direction and priorities of the Combined Authority. Non-constituents play a full role in the business of Combined Authority Shadow Board.

Information on the WMCA is available at the Parkside customer service centre and at www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/consultations and any residents wanting to convey their views on whether Bromsgrove should join need to comment by June 5 (June 3 for postal comments).

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