The WMCA with the other English Combined Authority regions (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley and West of England), launched a report titled “Empowering English Cities”, authored by Lord Michael Heseltine.
The report includes a number of recommendations to Government on strengthening English devolution, including:
- Government to transfer day-to-day responsibility for affordable housing, school performance, skills and employment programmes to combined authorities
- Mayoral combined authorities to have greater powers to raise local taxes – including receiving the local road tax, airport passenger duty and tourism taxes
- More capital funding for transport, skills and housing to be devolved from Government departments
- New Government Department for the English Regions led by a Cabinet minister and a Metro Mayors committee chaired by the Prime Minister.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Devolution has led to billions of pounds of investment and new powers to the region meaning we are not consumed by the Brexit logjam of Westminster and can carry on delivering for our regions. This new report shows how the next Prime Minister can continue the hard work done by Lord Heseltine and others to really empower city regions in England. I wholeheartedly support the recommendations.”