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Coventry City Council supports West Midlands devolution

Words: Laura Edgar

Coventry could soon join the proposal for a Greater Birmingham combined authority that would see powers devolved from central government.

Coventry City Council is developing proposals that councillors will discuss in the coming weeks. These include the recommendation that the council, alongside other Warwickshire councils in Coventry and Warwickshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, should join the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and Black Country LEP to form a West Midlands Combined Authority.

This follows the announcement by George Osborne last week that cities would get powers over planning, housing, transport and policing, as well as an elected mayor. A Cities Devolution Bill is due to feature in the Queen’s Speech later this month.

Ann Lucas, Coventry City Council leader, emphasised that the city council would not lose any of its current powers as a result of joining a combined authority. However, “the city would get a much greater say in making decisions that will help economic growth, regeneration and the region’s future prosperity”.

“I think that councils across the West Midlands working together to make decisions about major investment in things like transport can make much better decisions for Coventry than government officials in London can.

“The new government and the new secretary of state are clear that devolution is a priority. If we’re not part of a combined authority we won’t get the extra funding we need to continue to develop the economic growth and success we’ve delivered locally over the past few years.”