Still Time to Have Say on ‘Metro Mayor’ Plans

West Midlands Combined AuthorityMembers of the public in Tamworth are being reminded that they now have less than two weeks to respond to a consultation on the functions and responsibilities of an elected Mayor for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The Mayoral WMCA Functions Scheme consultation will close at midnight on Sunday August 21.

Proposals in the scheme, including the functions of the Mayoral WMCA, are set out in this consultation and its findings will go to the Secretary of State and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The WMCA is made up of the seven metropolitan areas of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton, as well as the district and borough councils within three Local Enterprise Partnership areas. Those areas are Greater Birmingham & Solihull – of which Tamworth is a member – Black Country and Coventry & Warwickshire.

The WMCA came into being on June 17 this year, when the order officially creating it came into force.

Its aim is to allow member authorities to work together on growth in key areas including employment and skills, health, housing and transport, while retaining their own identities and powers.

Tamworth Borough Council has been involved in the development and creation of both the WMCA and its ambitious devolution deal from the beginning of the process, with Cabinet member for Regeneration, Cllr Steve Claymore, and Chief Executive Tony Goodwin attending all briefings, workshops and meetings.

The WMCA is not a ’super-council’ and will not take over any of the powers currently held by Tamworth Borough Council. The borough authority will retain its identity and will not have to surrender any of its decision-making to the WMCA.

Residents of Tamworth have the opportunity to share their views on the functions and responsibilities of an elected Mayor for the WMCA. The consultation is available on the WMCA website.

Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said, “Membership of the WMCA gives Tamworth the opportunity to play a major role in the future economic growth of the borough and the wider region. It will have great benefits for Tamworth and for the people who live and work here, as well as those businesses already operating in Tamworth and those who will be attracted to set up here.

“The creation of the WMCA takes nothing away from Tamworth Borough Council and will not take over any of its powers. It is simply an enlarged government structure which allows members to work more closely together.

“One of the conditions of the Devolution Agreement, which will bring an extra £36.5 million a year to the WMCA region over the next 30 years – is an elected Mayor. The Mayor would provide a strong voice for the region and would be an ambassador for the area, promoting it on the global stage.”

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