Now North Warks Council backs the combined authority
NORTH Warwickshire Borough Council has formally pledged its allegiance to the new West Midlands Combined Authority.
The council has followed in the footsteps of Warwickshire County Council and Stratford District Council by performing a U-turn on its initial stance of staying out of the partnership - commonly referred to as ‘Greater Birmingham.’
North Warwickshire will become a minor member of the authority along with fellow Warwickshire districts Stratford and Nuneaton and Bedworth.
Rugby and Warwick councils are expected to eventually follow their Warwickshire counterparts into the WMCA - with Warwickshire County Council set to be become a full constituent member by 2017.
The WMCA is headed up by seven metropolitan councils - Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Solihull. It is being formed in a bid to gain powers and funding from central government under devolution plans and will be overseen by a West Midlands metro mayor.
Speaking about the change in policy following a vote this week, North Warwickshire leader Coun David Humphreys, said: “All elected members agreed that it is in North Warwickshire’s interests to have a seat at the table when major decisions are being made that could affect our area.
“This is just the start of the process but the council has authorised the chief executive, deputy leader and myself to have discussions with the WMCA.
“This will ensure we get the best out of the new powers and money they have received, so that the interests of the borough are protected and enhanced.”
Leader of the Labour opposition, Coun Adam Farrell, said the move had cross-party support.
He said: “In order to get our fair share we need to be round the table. The vote the council has now taken will enable us to do just that.
“Now that we are a member of the combined authority it is really important North Warwickshire develops a plan of what services and infrastructure we want delivered through the devolution deal.”