THE people of Redditch are to be asked for their views on whether Redditch Borough Council should join a West Midlands ‘combined authority’.
A special council meeting will be held on Thursday October 8 as members look at whether they should join the West Midlands Combined Authority.
This is part of Government moves to devolve some of its powers to regional groups of councils that have formed ‘combined authorities’.
Currently the Government takes most of the decisions that affect more than a single council area, in consultation with the local authorities. Some of these decisions may now be taken by a combined authority which is where all the councils in a certain area make certain commitments to work together.
In the West Midlands, a combined authority has been proposed which, if put in place, could start making wider decisions on key strategic functions that cross geographic council boundaries. Examples may include transport, regeneration and skills.
Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton have all joined this proposed West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Combined authorities don’t replace councils, or reduce existing local sovereignty. They provide a mechanism for groups of councils to apply to make some decisions that are currently made by the Government.
Council Leader Bill Hartnett said: “I know our neighbouring councils have already made their position clear but I will not be swayed by this. My focus is on what will benefit this Borough and our customers the most.”
A survey has been posted at www.redditchbc.gov.uk/consultations and via our social media feeds. Paper copies are also available at our Customer Service Centre at the Town Hall.
The closing date is on Sunday September 27, and all feedback will be considered as part of the wider discussions next month.