New Combined Authority to hold its first public meeting

Members of the proposed new West Yorkshire Combined Authority will meet for their first public meeting next week.

The shadow Combined Authority – which will have a focus on managing £1.5 billion investment in West Yorkshire’s transport and economic infrastructure- has no formal powers as yet, but is vital as a forum to discuss the design and future ways of working of the CA.

The membership is made up of the five West Yorkshire council leaders – Cllr Peter Box, the chair and Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Mehboob Khan (Kirklees), Cllr Tim Swift (Calderdale), Cllr David Green (Bradford), Cllr Keith Wakefield (Leeds) – York City Council leader Cllr James Alexander, the chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership Roger Marsh, and three opposition councillors from across the county Cllr Robert Light, Cllr Andrew Carter and Cllr Janet Battye.

The CA members will discuss information from government on the progress of the draft order to create the new body, and receive an update on the progress towards transition next year.

 It will work closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership board, whose chair is on the committee, to develop links with local businesses.

Cllr Box said: “It is important that we do as much business as we can in public, so that people feel we are open to proper scrutiny and transparent in our discussions. In the past, much of what we will be discussing as a Combined Authority would have been done in London.

 “By taking decisions affecting west Yorkshire away from Westminster, and instead deciding them locally, we can ensure that the investment in the region is made where it can have the biggest impact. Significant and well-targeted investment in the transport network for example will create opportunities for economic growth, enabling existing, and new, businesses to become more productive through reducing lost time caused by congestion, and allowing better links between people’s homes and major employment areas.”

 The meeting will take place at the Rose Bowl in Leeds, starting at 1pm on Monday 11 November. The agenda and papers are available at link)

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