The Chair of the emerging West Midlands Combined Authority shadow board, Councillor Bob Sleigh, has welcomed Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s decision to become a member of the region’s Combined Authority.
Stratford voted (Monday 25 January) to reverse a previous decision taken in October last year.
Councillor Sleigh said:
“We warmly welcome the decision taken by Stratford District Council. It demonstrates that the WMCA has something to offer everyone and it strengthens the partnership further.
“We recognise Stratford's decision comes at a time when consultation on the first phase partnership has already started, so it won't become a member until later in the year. However the council will be welcome around the shadow board table until its formal membership can be progressed.”
Cllr Chris Saint, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council said:
“I am pleased the District Council has taken the decision to be part of the West Midlands Combined Authority and will be able to maximise the benefits for our district.
“The decision means we will be able to play an active part in the devolution process currently under development. This does not represent a 'super council' as each member of the Combined Authority retains its independence and will continue to provide services like planning and refuse and recycling. It just means that there will be better collaboration between councils on strategic issues such as investment, skills, housing and economic development.”
“We have always been a big believer in partnership working and where you cannot do things on your own, joining a partnership gives you greater resilience, greater freedom and greater spending powers allowing us to make sure our district benefits as much as possible.”