Budget confirms second West Midlands devolution deal

WMCA finance lead, Cllr Izzi Seccombe

West Midlands Combined Authority chiefs have welcomed news in yesterday's budget of a second devolution deal for the region.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made the announcement during his budget speech to Parliament. Mayor Andy Street said:

“We are delighted to get this confirmation of our second devolution deal. It reflects the government’s confidence in our ambitions and ability to deliver for the region.

“We don’t yet have full details – but what is really important is that it signals government commitment to keep moving devolution forward. Clearly the scale of our economic ambitions and our potential to achieve them is fully recognised.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, WMCA finance portfolio lead, said the budget overall was a sign of good things to come for the West Midlands - with references in the speech to funding initiatives totalling at least £1/4 billion.

These support priority programmes for the combined authority, including housing, rough sleeping and skills. She added:

“This is a clear signal of the positive work that the combined authority can deliver to make a difference to the people who live and work in the West Midlands.

“The specific investment into skills and housing highlights the commitment we share with the government to support job creation, skills improvement and new home building.”

Cllr Seccombe said the WMCA Board would examine the detail and consider the wider implications at its meetings in December 2017 and January 2018.

£250m from the Transforming Cities Fund, enabling the go-ahead for the Midland Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill, was announced on Monday ahead of the budget.


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