Business leaders in Greater Birmingham have applauded the seven local authorities that make up the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on their pledge to create the “most effective” organisation in the country. The move was announced by Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), said: “We congratulate the seven authorities for working together quickly to put today’s statement of intent together. It is an exciting document and we look forward to working with the West Midlands Combined Authority to make their ambitions a reality.

“The private sector, which the Chamber represents, can make a critical contribution and we look forward to ensuring our members’ views are imparted to the WMCA. 

“We endorse the WMCA’s view that economic markets and the businesses serving them are no respecters of administrative boundaries and that the area of the WMCA can only benefit from close working on key issues.

“It’s encouraging to know that the WMCA’s statement of intent emphasises that its proposals can ‘strengthen our relationship and focus on the issues that really matter to the people and businesses in the West Midlands’.

“We agree that the establishment of the combined authority provides an opportunity to drive forward a series of joint objectives in support of economic growth and progressive public sector reform.

“Transport is a particularly important area where the creation of a combined authority can drive the amazing work that is already being done at New Street Station and the plans for the HS2 station at Curzon Street and UK Central at Bickenhill.

“Extending the Midland Metro tram network, upgrading Birmingham Airport and the M42 will all work towards the combined authority creating a transport network that will match their aim to match the best in Europe.”