At a specially convened full council last night (7 March 2016) Walsall Council members voted to formally sign up to be part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), giving Parliament the green light to pass the legislation need to create this new way of working.
The agreement was formalised after 46 members voted for joining the WMCA, 6 voted against and 5 abstained.
In doing so, Walsall joins Wolverhampton and Dudley councils as a fully fledged member of the WMCA. With Sandwell’s decision expected today, Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull have shown their support in becoming full members. The three Local Enterprise Partnerships and a number of district councils will be involved on a non-constituent basis.
Council Leader, Mike Bird said that joining forces with other local authorities in the region will give Walsall and the West Midlands a stronger voice and enable the region to be better placed as it competes for global investment.
"These are exciting times and I'm delighted that Walsall has agreed to join Dudley and Wolverhampton as full members of the West Midlands Combined Authority,” he said.
"Whilst others consider this to be a leap of faith, I believe that closer cooperation between the whole West Midlands councils who are responsible for delivery strategic work is necessary.
"We'll play our part in making sure it works for the benefit of Walsall people and the residents of this region."
The Government says it make an annual contribution of £40 million for 30 years to support an overall package worth £8 billion, alongside the creation of up to half a million jobs.
Devolution will give the West Midlands the power to elect in a Metro Mayor as early as 2017.
To find out more about the WMCA visit www.WestMidlandsCombinedAuthority.org.uk
For more information please contact the Walsall press office on 01922 650824