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Cabinet approves regional membership

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet has today approved the decision to become a non-constituent member of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is a group of 12 local authorities and three Local Enterprise Partnerships working together to devolve powers for economic development from Whitehall to the West Midlands.

Leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor Tony Johnson, said:

“Herefordshire alone will not be big enough to attract desired powers from Westminster. As part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, we will be part of a regional platform that will not only help attract significant investment but also put us in a strong position to safeguard our county now and in the future.

It will protect Herefordshire’s economic growth and productivity by taking a shared strategic approach in the development of significant policy areas for the region, such as economic development, transport and skills.

This is an opportunity to build our relationship with the members of the WMCA and provide greater opportunity for local services to innovate and experiment and more local jobs for residents”.

Membership of the West Midlands Combined Authority costs £25k a year and provides regional funding opportunities, as well as the chance to collaborate on projects and influence local decision making.

Herefordshire Council had previously submitted an expression of interest in having freedoms and flexibilities devolved to it by government. The West Midlands Combined Authority signed an outline devolution deal with the government in 2015.

Tags: Business and economy, Community and living, Your council