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26.06.17

Street unveils majority Labour leadership team for WMCA

Andy Street the first West Midlands metro mayor has revealed who will head up the different portfolios in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).  

At the WMCA’s Annual General Meeting, councillors from a number of smaller authorities in the area were given the responsibility for a number of key areas within the authority’s remit.

And despite being a Conservative mayor, the majority of Street’s team (five out of eight) are Labour councillors.

This is in line with a comment from Dr Jonathan West, CEO of the LGiU who last month wrote in PSE and said that: "For Andy Street in Birmingham, this will mean performing a balancing act with the Labour leaders who make up the vast majority whilst getting to grips with serious public policy challenges and implementing his own manifesto."

Head of the Wellbeing Board and HS2 will be Cllr Bob Sleigh, leader of Solihull council, a Conservative, whilst transport will be spearheaded by Cllr Roger Lawrence, of the Labour party.

Birmingham City Cllr John Clancy ( Labour) was put in charge of Economic Growth, and Izzi Seccombe (Conservative), who heads up Warwickshire County Council, who was awarded an OBE last week was made a non-constituent member of the WMCA as head of Finance and Investments.

“These appointments will help deliver my mayoral priorities and the priorities of the WMCA,” said Street. “Each area is vitally important and the portfolio holder will work with politicians and officers right across the West Midlands to help deliver the homes, jobs, skills and other targets we need.”

In addition to the appointment of the portfolio holders, the mayor is proposing a Business Advisory Group to serve as the ‘voice of business’ on the WMCA.

“I am absolutely clear that business needs to play a key part in the WMCA and that is why I will set up this group which will include organisations like the Chambers of Commerce, CBI, Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses,” the former John Lewis boss added.

“As we move into Brexit negotiations, it is going to be more important than ever that the voice of business is heard.”

The full list of appointments is:

  • Wellbeing Board and HS2 – Cllr Bob Sleigh (Solihull) – Conservative
  • Transport – Cllr Roger Lawrence (Wolverhampton) – Labour
  • Skills & Productivity – Cllr George Duggins (Coventry) – Labour
  • Economic Growth – Cllr John Clancy (Birmingham) – Labour
  • Environment – Cllr Pat Harley (Dudley) – Conservative
  • Cohesion & Integration and Public Service Reform – Cllr Steve Eling (Sandwell) – Labour
  • Housing & Land – Cllr Sean Coughlan (Walsall) – Labour
  • Finance and Investments – Cllr Izzi Seccombe, (Warwickshire County Council) – a non-constituent member of the WMCA - Conservative

Top Image: Matthew Cooper PA Wire

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Comments

Heather Wakefield   26/06/2017 at 12:19

I am shocked to see that there is only one woman on the WMCA team and I don't think that there are any BAME members? This is not new localism, but old blokealism. How on earth can it claim to represent the diverse community it covers?

James Trotter   26/06/2017 at 12:54

Heather the simple answer is that under the constitution the appointments are the ldrs of the Councils involved in the Combined Authority and hence Andy Street prity much has his hands tied.

Heather Wakefield   26/06/2017 at 15:33

I realise that and the constitution needs to be changed - and it should be! There is no way that any of the Combined Authorities can claim to represent the interests of local people with their current make-up, which largely excludes women and black members. The composition of councils is woeful enough in gender and race terms. That of combined authorities makes a mockery of so-called local democracy.

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