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West Midlands Combined Authority: Further Devolution

Volume 707: debated on Monday 24 January 2022

11. What assessment he has made of the potential merits of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s proposals for a further devolution deal. (905184)

We commend the West Midlands Combined Authority under the leadership of Andy Street for its ambition to secure further powers for the region and will be saying more about our plans to strengthen local leadership in the forthcoming White Paper.

The Mayor of the West Midlands and I disagree on much, but I think he buys into my argument that we should be the green workshop of the world, and I agree with him that delivering on that requires radical devolution of resources and powers in at least 12 different areas, from skills to energy regulation. Has the Minister read the submission from the combined authorities—the Mayor and the seven mighty authorities of the west midlands—and, crucially, when the levelling-up White Paper is delivered, will he deliver on it?

I am glad to see this wonderful outbreak of consensus. I have read the exciting proposals put forward to us but I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman will have to wait until the White Paper; however, I will say that Andy Street has continued to bring forward very exciting and interesting ideas.