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26.07.17

Chair of WYCA steps down to lead Key Cities Group

Leader of Wakefield Council and chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) Cllr Peter Box has today been named chair of the Key Cities Group, an organisation dedicated to promoting growth in 21 cities across the UK.

Cllr Box has stated that he will be stepping down as chair of the combined authority to concentrate on his new job and on his commitment to Wakefield Council.

As WYCA chair, he secured the largest city region growth deal outside of London and helped establish the £1bn West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, aimed to invest in schemes to support economic growth, jobs and housing.

Two major Transport Fund schemes have already been delivered and are having a positive impact on many people’s daily lives.

“I am proud to have been appointed to chair the Key Cities Group, an organisation committed to promoting growth for 21 cities across the UK. This vacancy came about suddenly and I was grateful for the faith other city leaders put in me to help guide the group to deliver for all the members,” said Cllr Box. “Obviously, my first commitment remains to the Wakefield district and getting the best deal for it, the rest of West Yorkshire and our wider region.

“However, this role is going to require a significant amount of my time and attention and given I have also always thought the role of chair of our combined authority should revolve every two to three years, I have decided to step aside from the chair of the combined authority.”

The outgoing boss added that in the 12 months up until March this year, the CA had invested £270m in services and projects to benefit local people and the city region’s economy.

“WYCA has a vital role to play developing city region-wide investments and programmes that make people’s lives better, more prosperous and full of opportunity,” he continued. “The chair of the combined authority needs to dedicate time and focus to be successful and this is the reason why I am stepping aside as chair so that someone else can ensure the successes keep coming.

“I will still be involved as you would expect but looking to the future, with Leeds’ Cllr [Judith] Blake chairing the Core Cities Group, me in the chair of the Key Cities Group and another West Yorkshire leader chairing the combined authority, this is a great time for West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region to lead inclusive growth across the north and nationwide.”

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