Seven local authorities are currently discussing coming together to form a West Midlands Combined Authority: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The talks also involve three Local Enterprise Partnerships – LEPs – where local authorities and businesses work together to decide on the priorities for major investment.
The move towards this Combined Authority is gathering pace with the go-ahead from Parliament due as early as next April.
But how much do you know about the proposed Combined Authority and what it means for you?
What it means…
• A new way for local councils to work together to promote transport, economic development and regeneration across the whole region.
• The chance to better plan those things that could be more effectively delivered across authority boundaries – like tourism, skills development and business support.
• Local decision-making powers passed down by central government to our region.
• Securing long-term funding and investment to help boost economic growth and employment opportunities.
What it doesn’t mean…
• It won’t replace existing councils.
• There won’t be one new single authority.
• One local council won’t absorb the others and set the agenda.
• Councillors in each authority will still be accountable to the people who elected them.
We would like to hear what you think about our proposals, so please use the feedback opportunities on our Combined Authority website. Alternatively if you want to share your thoughts with myself or one of my elected members or officers please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Bob Sleigh
Leader of Solihull Council