Sunday, November 29, 2020

West Yorkshire devolution deal to move forward

Next week, the five West Yorkshire councils and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will agree that the parliamentary process to put the West Yorkshire devolution into law can go ahead.

The authorities will review the draft order, a legal document setting out the powers and functions of the Mayor and how the Mayoral Combined Authority will operate.

The order has been drafted by the Government based on the devolution deal agreed between the Councils and the Government, and findings from the eight-week public consultation carried out by the Combined Authority and West Yorkshire councils over the summer.

The deal builds on more than 15 years of successful partnership working between West Yorkshire councils and the wider Leeds City Region, which includes securing the £1.2 billion local enterprise partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, – the country’s largest – establishing a £1 billion Transport Fund to deliver local transport improvements in West Yorkshire and York.

The deal, which West Yorkshire’s five council leaders agreed with the Government in March 2020, will bring at least an additional £1.8 billion public investment into local control over the next 30 years, plus greater freedoms to take decisions locally on the issues that affect communities.

Extra investment is already coming to the region ahead of the deal becoming law and the region has joined the M9 group of mayoral combined authorities, giving it stronger national influence alongside the other elected mayors in England.

In a joint statement, West Yorkshire’s five council leaders said: “Last month, our councils and the Combined Authority backed and submitted to government the findings from the devolution public consultation, the largest ever public consultation on English regional devolution, to ensure the people of West Yorkshire get a deal that addresses the issues they really care about.

“The findings from the consultation were supported by most of the people who participated. We will now discuss the order which the government has submitted for our consent.

“COVID-19 has highlighted just how crucial it is that decisions which affect local communities are taken by people who know and understand those communities, supported by the investment to deliver on local priorities.

“This deal is the critical starting point to ensuring West Yorkshire is able to make the strongest possible recovery from this crisis and prosper in future.

“Our local areas are already seeing the benefits of the deal through the early funding we have secured to develop brownfield sites for housing, deliver much-needed transport improvements and support people to develop the skills to find good work in a challenging job market.”

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