Region to bid for second devo deal from government
THE West Midlands is to begin negotiations with the government to secure a second devolution deal for the region.
Council leaders and West Midlands mayor Andy Street are expected to ask for more funding, as well as local control over the £100-milliona-year skills budget as well as powers to build more homes on land which is currently unused.
Mr Street set out the region’s proposals in a letter to ministers two weeks ago.
Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, confirmed plans for a second devolution deal in a speech at the University of Birmingham.
He highlighted the election of the first ever West Midlands mayor earli- er this year, saying: “It is a particular thrill for me that the West Midlands now has, in Andy Street, an elected mayor able to lead this region forward.
“I say a particular thrill because my time in government has been motivated by the conviction that our future success, not just as an economy but as a society, should be found- ed on the regional strengths local leadership that has been source of prosperity in the past.”
The first devolution deal, agreed in 2015, gave the West Midlands £1.1 billion over 30 years.
But Mr Clark said: “Andy and I have always believed that the West Midlands devolution deal should be the foundation, not the end point, of further empowerment of the region as a vital part of our industrial strategy. The mayor wrote to the government two weeks ago setting out proposals for further devolution of powers.
“I am delighted to announce today that we will begin talks with the mayor and the local authorities over the coming weeks, with a view to agreeing a further devolution package that will ensure that he has the powers he needs to support delivery of the industrial strategy in the West Midlands.” and the
> Cabinet minister Greg Clark