Firstly I would like to thank those of you who completed our recent survey regarding the powers a mayoral West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) should have.
Areas covered by the proposed powers include transport, housing, developing a low emissions strategy, High Speed 2 (HS2) growth, finance and skills and employment.
A report summarising the findings from this public consultation has been delivered to the Government, showing broad support for how a mayoral combined authority will work to deliver the first Devolution Agreement.
The Secretary of State will consider the consultation findings and then prepare a draft order to be laid before parliament.
DCLG has set the seven local authorities within the WMCA a challenging timetable to approve the draft orders, which is expected sometime in mid to late October. For Solihull it means the following timetable for discussion and decision making on the draft order:
Scrutiny – w/c 14 November (date TBC) Cabinet – 1 December
Council – 6 December
The Devolution Agreement is key to fast-tracking the Council’s economic growth plans and will see an unprecedented £636 million of investment into transport infrastructure in Solihull over the coming years. In total the 30 year £36.5 million annual devo-dividend will unlock a region-wide investment package worth £8 billion.
The WMCA has had a presence at both the Labour Party and Conservative Party Conferences, selling the West Midlands to politicians and the new government.
I also wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Teresa May as the Conservative Party arrived in the West Midlands for the conference.
I will be in touch with further updates in due course.