The Government has announced it is to begin negotiations with the West Midlands Combined Authority over further transfer of powers and funding to the region.
At an event at the University of Birmingham today (Monday), Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, confirmed talks between the WMCA and Government over a second ‘Devolution Deal’.
Any deal would build on the first deal signed in November 2015 which was seen as a starting point in an evolving process of further devolution. The first deal enabled investment worth £8bn and committed the region to a directly elected Mayor.
Greg Clark said: “Andy Street and I have always believed that the West Midlands devolution deal that created the Mayoralty should be the foundation, not the end, of further empowerment of the region.
“I am delighted to announce today that we will begin talks immediately with the Mayor and the Combined Authority with a view to creating a further devolution package that will ensure he and the WMCA have the powers they need.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “As a region we have been forthright in our message to Government that we want to continue the process of devolution in order to deliver jobs, improved wages and prosperity.
“We have therefore acted quickly to put our proposals to Government. Today’s response from the Secretary of State is excellent news and we look forward to the negotiations.
“We’re determined that this process will help release the potential of this region and demonstrate that it is ‘our time’.”