West Yorkshire secures devolution deal
A £1.8bn devolution deal has been secured for West Yorkshire.
The agreement, which was confirmed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in this month’s Budget, will devolve a range of powers and responsibilities to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. These will support the region to improve living standards through investment in skills and transport, tackling the climate emergency, and supporting businesses.
As part of the deal the region will gets its own elected mayor, who will oversee policies such as transport and housing. Elections for the post are expected to be held in May 2021.
Other key aspects of the deal include control of the £63m annual Adult Education Budget for West Yorkshire; £38m a year for 30 years into the West Yorkshire Investment Fund with significant freedoms to spend on local priorities; and a £25m fund to support the development of a British Library North in Leeds.
The deal was struck between the government; Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield Councils; and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. It is subject to ratification and to parliamentary legislation being approved. It will also be subject to a public consultation.
In order to align Local Enterprise Partnership geographies with devolution geographies, the Leeds City Region will formally cover the districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield from 1 April onwards. It will maintain strong partnership arrangements with York and Selby to ensure that work and investments continue to benefit the wider region’s economy.