A CONSULTATION into plans for an elected mayor to head up the new West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has been opened this week.
With the seven constituent councils – including Coventry – having already accepted the creation of the combined authority the consultation will ask questions on how the elected metro mayor and WMCA board will make decisions and what each will be responsible for.
Findings from the consultation will then be sent to the Secretary of State and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – helping them understand what the West Midlands public think of the functions and responsibilities of a mayoral WMCA and how it will impact local community identity.
Councillor Bob Sleigh, Chair of the WMCA and leader of Solihull Council explained the region had to accept an elected mayor in order to benefit from an ‘£8 billion investment package’ from central Government.
He added: “The idea of a mayor for the WMCA area is to provide a strong voice for the region.
“They would also be an ambassador for the area, selling it on the global stage.
“They would be the point of contact when the Government want to speak to ‘the West Midlands’ and be responsible for driving the Devolution Agreement within government and the region.
“The detail in the Functions Scheme should demonstrate that we have given much thought to how a Mayoral WMCA will work effectively to deliver the Devolution Agreement.
“I encourage residents, businesses, community groups and partners from across the region to complete the consultation and have their say.”
The consultation is available on the WMCA website – www.westmidlandscombinedauthority.org.uk – along with supporting documents which provide background information on how the WMCA and mayor will work.
It will also be available in hard copy upon request at libraries and some council public buildings across the region – see the Coventry City Council website for more details.
The consultation began on Monday (July 4) and will close at midnight on Sunday, August 21.