National and Devolved Politics

28.07.20

West Yorkshire £1.8bn devolution deal gains momentum

The West Yorkshire devolution deal, spearheaded by the Combined Authority, is gathering pace after a council meeting yesterday (July 27) discussed its progress.

The £1.8bn deal is getting closer to completion, a week after the largest ever public consultation on English regional devolution closed.

Over 4,500 people in the region were part of the conversation, which will pave the way for West Yorkshire’s first ever Mayor to be elected in May 2021 and new powers and funding to be bestowed upon the region for issues covering transport, adult education and skills.

As well as consultation discussion, existing investment in West Yorkshire as a result of the devolution deal was also discussed. An example of this is a £67m allocation through the Government’s Brownfield Fund.

The deal will also see the Combined Authority take over control of the £63m annual Adult Education Budget in 2021.

In a joint statement after the meeting, West Yorkshire’s Council Leaders, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe (Bradford), Cllr Tim Swift (Calderdale), Cllr Shabir Pandor (Kirklees), Cllr Judith Blake (Leeds) and Cllr Denise Jeffery (Wakefield), commented:

“Following the record-breaking number of responses to our devolution deal consultation, it is fantastic to see the benefits of devolution already being felt in our region. The fact that we’ve already secured close to £70 million additional funding for West Yorkshire and have a seat at the table in key national discussions before our deal is fully formalised is a taster of the difference devolution will make.

“There is still a huge amount of work to do to prepare for the additional investment and decision-making powers that devolution will bring, but we have made a promising start and will be taking full advantage of all the new opportunities coming our way to support our region’s recovery from COVID-19.”

Image: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

 

LISTEN: Ep. 23 Sir David Bell - Is Higher Education the key to economic recovery

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