Cabinet is asked to note the progress made on the development of options and priorities for a potential future Devolution Deal for Warwickshire, authorise further engagement with partners and note the content of the recently agreed West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) ‘Deeper Devolution Deal’.
Councillor Izzy Seccombe introduced the report and outlined the progress made so far. She thanked all those Members who had volunteered to be part of the Member Working Group and noted the work undertaken so far.
Councillor Seccombe recognised the West Midlands Combined Authority ‘Deeper Devolution Deal’, and a summary of the main aspects were attached in Appendix 1 to the report.
The report also noted the strong working relationships with the District and Borough Council’s and Councillor Seccombe noted that these may go through a period of reset following the recent local elections. The Leader of the Council had written to the Secretary of State in March 2022, expressing the Council’s interest in being invited to commence negotiations on a Devolution Deal for Warwickshire but as yet had not received a response.
Councillor Sarah Boad addressed the meeting and referred to the recent changes in political control at various Councils. She queried the timescales involved as she did not feel a great deal of progress had been made.
Councillor Seccombe noted the comments and reiterated that whilst there may be new Portfolio Holder representatives at District and Borough Council levels, the County Council would be looking to reaffirm its’ position. She highlighted the importance of continuing the work to establish a strong economy in the County that would benefit everyone.
The Leader proposed the recommendations as laid out, and it was
1) Notes the progress made to date on the development of options and priorities for a potential future Devolution Deal for Warwickshire and authorises further engagement with partners, based on the proposals set out in Appendix 2; and
2) Notes the content of the recently agreed West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) ‘Deeper Devolution Deal’ and the potential elements of interest and benefit for Warwickshire Councils as Non-Constituent Members and supports ongoing engagement with the West Midlands Combined Authority to maximise the opportunities for Warwickshire from the WMCA Devolution Deal.