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Dudley Council set to back £1.5bn devolution deal

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Dudley Council is set to back a devolution deal which could bring £1.5 billion in extra funding to the West Midlands.

Members of the local authority’s ruling cabinet are expected to approve the West Midlands Deeper Devolution Deal at a meeting this week.

It would see greater powers devolved to West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to decide how money should be spent locally in key areas such as the economy, housing and employment.

It will include a commitment to retain business rates to be spent locally, and to build thousands of new affordable homes.

‘Growth zones’ will be created in deprived areas across the region, and local leaders will drive schemes to help people into work and to learn new skills, as well as offering support for businesses.

An extra £60 million will be allocated towards the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension, while the deal would also give WMCA control over which companies operate bus services in the region.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

I have always been clear in my opinion that local decisions should be taken by local people, and as such I am delighted to back this very exciting devolution deal for our region.
It will give us greater financial freedom and flexibility to manage our own affairs.
It will create jobs, homes and opportunities for our residents.

The Government announced the devolution deal in February last year in its Levelling Up White Paper.

It will be discussed at the next meeting of Dudley Council’s cabinet, which will take place on Wednesday (Sep 20) from 6pm in Committee Room 2 at Dudley Council House. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

A decision on whether the deal will be formally approved will be taken at a meeting of WMCA council leaders and the mayor, Andy Street, which is currently scheduled to take place on October 13.

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