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30/09/2015
West Midlands Combined Authority Update
Ambitious proposals that, if agreed, would see powers devolved from Westminster to the incoming West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have been submitted to government.

The Shadow Board for the WMCA has put forward a series of proposals that build on the Statement of Intent launched at the beginning of July.

The WMCA will be established by April 2016 and will be the vehicle for delivering the outcomes of any devolution deal.

The submission covers the geography of the three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) of The Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull.
 
The proposals support the WMCA’s overall aims of closing both the productivity and the public spending gap, alongside working with the NHS and Police and extending a collaborative hand to the region’s third sector to use public sector reform to explore innovative programmes of joint working.

They include:

  • Significant devolution of funding and financial flexibilities to support a locally controlled ten year investment fund totalling around £8 billion.  This will be used to take forward a transport investment plan and explore means of increasing the supply of new development land. 
  • Implementation of the HS2 Growth Strategy, including regeneration around the Curzon (Birmingham city centre) and Interchange HS2 stations.
  • An integrated new employment and skills system for the West Midlands, supporting school leavers, is helping more people into work and providing skills to match the needs of local businesses.
Councillor Bob Sleigh, Chair of the WMCA’s Shadow Board, said: "We are having positive and constructive dialogue with government officials and are optimistic that our submission to see powers moved from Westminster to the West Midlands will bear fruit.
 
"The Shadow Board is ready to rise to the challenges regional devolution will bring to the region.  We will maximise the opportunities it offers to improve the outcomes for local people, our businesses and our shared future.”

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