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05/08/2015

Combined authority sets out its devolution ‘asks’

Words: Laura Edgar
Overlooking Bradford

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is negotiating with the government on the second stage of its devolution deal.

The combined authority is also discussing the area the deal and a potential elected mayor might cover.

Talks are continuing with both the government and the combined authority’s local and regional partners.

The latest set of requests to be put to government, which the authority says could change as part of further discussion, include control of a “10-year infrastructure precept”. Exempt from the council tax capping regime, this would, says the authority, “deliver major new investments such as a world-class Metro-style public transport network that is HS2 and HS3-ready”.

The combined authority is also asking for responsibility over a “devolved and consolidated transport budget” and control over “a new £500 million Housing and Regeneration Investment Fund”.

The fund would include a fiscally neutral transferred £350 million revolving loan facility, it said.

The list of ‘asks’ also includes:

  • Enterprise Zone/Tax Increment Financing status for major developments at growth areas around principal transport hubs;

  • Powers to incentivise developers to bring forward strategic sites and prevent land banking as well as to bring empty listed buildings back into use; and

  • Responsibility for energy generation and efficiency.

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