Latest Public Sector News

07.06.16

‘Disjointed and confused’ WMCA deal passes through Lords despite criticism

The House of Lords passed a motion to create the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) as a legal entity, despite concerns raised by many peers about its structure.

The Lords approved an order to create the combined authority, consisting of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils.

The order also abolishes the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority and Passenger Transport Executive, which will be absorbed into the WMCA.

However, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath pointed out that an elected mayor for the authority, due to be voted through Parliament in a separate order and introduced next year, was rejected by a referendum in the area.

He accused Baroness Williams, parliamentary under-secretary for the DCLG, who proposed the legislation, of having “forced” West Midlands councils to accept the mayor in exchange for new powers.

Similarly, Lord Kennedy of Southwark said “it is fair to say that it could be seen as a bit disjointed and confused and not at all like the deals we have seen in Greater Manchester”, citing a recent NAO report warning that the English devolution process is suffering from a lack of government oversight.

Baroness Williams said that the process of creating the WMCA had been “a truly local, bottom-up process”.

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25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >