HUGE CROSS-PARTY SUPPORT FOR COMBINED AUTHORITY’S BUDGET BID

More than thirty MPs from across the West Midlands are urging the Chancellor to support the West Midlands Combined Authority’s bid for extra funds and increased powers.
Led by the Mayor, Andy Street, the Combined Authority is asking the chancellor to use next week’s budget to support the West Midlands “Devolution Deal” which includes:

  • Extending the Metro through the Black Country to Brierley Hill
  • Greater powers to boost skills
  • Support for the region’s growing digital media sector
  • Increased funding and support for automotive and advanced manufacturing with extra help to develop driverless and electric vehicles
  • Help to tackle homelessness and improve support for mental health services

The vast majority of the region’s MPs have signed the letter which has been organised by , Meriden MP, Dame Caroline Spelman, Dudley North MP Ian Austin and Erdington MP, Jack Dromey. 

The Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP said:
“Our region will benefit hugely from devolution and the resources to help it achieve its full potential and with cross-party support I’m hopeful the Chancellor will heed at least some of our requests.”

 

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
HM Treasury 1, Horse Guards Road Westminster London SW1A 2HQ

Dear Chancellor,

We, the undersigned MPs for the West Midlands region, write in support of the Devolution Deal proposals which have been put to you by the West Midlands Combined Authority in the run up to this year’s Budget.

These proposals for additional funding and the devolution of powers to the region will allow us to generate prosperity and wellbeing for our citizens in the West Midlands. In particular, we would like to highlight some of the most important asks of Government.

* Funding the extension of the Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill, unlocking the potential of the Black Country, creating significant opportunities for the new homes, jobs and businesses, and funding new infrastructure for cycling in the region
* Devolving powers and responsibilities to align skills training and career advice with the needs of businesses in our key industrial sectors
* Supporting our automotive and advanced manufacturing industries, with an ambitious programme of regulatory reform and funding support to develop autonomous and electric vehicles
* Backing our digital sector in the West Midlands, creating digital skills and generating new start-up businesses, and improved digital public services
* Piloting new approaches to public services to tackle homelessness, mental health and emotional resilience in young people and to prevent cardiovascular disease

We stand with local authority leaders from across the region and with the Mayor of the Combined Authority, Andy Street, in supporting these asks of Government. We hope that you will consider them favourably during your Budget deliberations.

Yours ever,

 

Rt. Hon. Dame Caroline Spelman MP (Con)
Jack Dromey MP (Lab)
Mike Wood MP (Con)
James Morris MP (Con)
Wendy Morton MP (Con)
Eddie Hughes MP (Con)
Nadhim Zahawi MP (Con)
Mark Pawsey MP (Con)
Julian Knight MP (Con)
Andrew Mitchell MP (Con)
Rachel Maclean MP (Con)
Amanda Milling MP (Con)
Michael Fabricant MP (Con)
Nigel Huddleston MP (Con)
Jeremy Lefroy MP (Con)
Ian Austin MP (Lab)
John Spellar MP (Lab)
Adrian Bailey MP (Lab)
Pat McFadden MP (Lab)
Eleanor Smith MP  (Lab)
Emma Reynolds MP (Lab)
Geoffrey Robinson MP (Lab)
Jim Cunningham MP (Lab)
Matt Western MP (Lab)
Richard Burden MP (Lab)
Liam Byrne MP (Lab)
Khalid Mahmood MP (Lab)
Shabana Mahmood MP (Lab)
Steve McCabe MP (Lab)
Jess Philips MP (Lab)
Preet Kaur Gill MP (Lab)
Colleen Fletcher MP (Lab)
Tom Watson MP (Lab)
Roger Godsiff MP (Lab)
Valerie Vaz MP (Lab)