West Midlands Combined Authority approves budget for 2018/19

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street has welcomed approval by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) of its budget for the coming financial year.

Members of the WMCA board today (Friday February 9) gave their backing to the proposed figure of over £170 million for 2018/19 at its meeting in Birmingham Council House.

The introduction of a precept to pay for the office of the Mayor of the West Midlands and for schemes to tackle congestion has been deferred for a year.

Following discussions between Mr Street and the WMCA board, an alternative funding package has been found for this financial year only.

Mr Street said: “We have worked hard together to reach a financial agreement that does not affect spending and investment schemes.

“The leaders felt that in the current financial climate a precept on the council taxpayer in this coming year was not right at this time and I have listened to that view.

“I am delighted that we have now been able to agree a funding arrangement which both addresses those concerns and allows us all to continue to work on behalf of the West Midlands.”

Mayoral running costs of £823,000 will be covered by money from the Mayoral Capacity Fund - a scheme announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year as well as a contribution of £265,000 from the constituent authorities following a rebate granted them then returned to the WMCA in 2017/18.

Deferral of the precept will not materially change the WMCA’s reported position on the planned investment of over £485 million into the investment programme for 2018/19 to 2020/21.

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