On 7 November, Council leaders from the four Black Country councils and Birmingham made an agreement in principle to work as a Combined Authority in a move which will attract hundreds of millions of pounds of investment to create jobs and improve transport links.
Combined Authorities are a new way for local councils to work together, which is becoming increasingly popular. Five areas: Greater Manchester, Liverpool, West Yorkshire, Sheffield City Region and the North East have now adopted such an arrangement.
Several councils in the West Midlands – Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton – have recently declared that they want to form a Combined Authority. They are also talking to Solihull, Coventry and several other local councils about this.
It is therefore important that local people, the media and political representatives understand exactly what this means and how a Combined Authority will change local government in the area.