Plans to create a West Midlands Combined Authority and sign-up to an ‘historic’ devolution deal have been endorsed, following a full meeting of City of Wolverhampton Council. It means that the City of Wolverhampton follows Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley and Solihull in becoming constituent members of the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Lawrence, was instrumental in driving forward regional plans and said: “I’m delighted that the City of Wolverhampton Council has taken the decision to be part of the West Midlands Combined Authority and the historic regional ‘devo-deal’.
“It means that we will continue to play a key part in the devolution process.
“The Combined Authority will remain a focused, strategic decision-making body, with responsibility for strategic issues where it is mutually beneficial for local authorities, Centro, and Local Enterprise Partnerships to work together.
“This does not represent a 'super council'. Each member council will retain its sovereignty and independence and will continue to provide services.
“New jobs, better skills, more housing, quicker transport links and better public services are at the heart of proposals.
“There was a tremendous response in our city to the recent public engagement on proposals. Nine-out-of-ten people who responded to the public survey agreed that it would improve economic development, regeneration and transport.
“And the city is set to benefit in a number of ways. A share of the £200 million land remediation fund will enable brownfield sites to be brought back into use for housing and employment. This is currently a major problem and obstacle to development in our city.
“Better transport links and connectivity to HS2 will boost jobs and growth in the city and by being part of the deal, we will get a share of the benefits related to the £1bn of direct government investment which unlocks £8 billion devolution funding. And this is just the start - longer-term, we’ll be at the table to be part of the future opportunities that devolution will bring.
“We have always been a city that has invested in, and believes in, partnership working. Collaboration gives you greater resilience, greater freedom and greater spending power and gives the City of Wolverhampton an historic chance to benefit now and in the future.”