West of England Combined Authority meets to discuss budget
The West of England Combined Authority, which will manage new powers for transport, housing, adult education and skills, holds its second meeting on March 15, at Armada House, Bristol.
The Combined Authority is made up of Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils. At the meeting, members will agree a budget for 2017/18.
Through the Combined Authority, more decisions will be made locally, with £1bn of investment and transport funding coming from Westminster to the West of England.
In its first year, this will include:
- £30 million to deliver infrastructure to boost economic growth.
- £20.475 million for highways maintenance and transport improvement schemes.
In addition the Combined Authority is taking part, with the constituent councils, in the Government’s 100% business rate retention pilot, starting 2017/18, allowing the region to benefit from future growth in business rates.
The Combined Authority will deliver an ambitious strategy for the region that will, in its first year, prioritise transport, business and skills. It will build on the success of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has supported the creation of over 11,000 new jobs; supported 477 businesses and levered in to the region £126m in public sector and £104 million in private sector funding.
Elections for a new West of England Mayor to chair the Combined Authority will take place on Thursday 4 May 2017, when the electorate of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire Councils will have their say on the candidates.
The Combined Authority meeting will consider the recommendations of the independent remuneration panel, which recommends that the new West of England Mayor should receive an allowance of £62,000 per annum.
Members of the Combined Authority are Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council; Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council. The Chair of the LEP, Stephen Robertson, will also attend the meetings.
Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “The West of England is one of the UK’s most prosperous regions. The new Combined Authority offers us the opportunity to build on this and make it even better for everyone.
“It means that we can be more ambitious, taking collective decisions about what is best for the region, cutting across the divides of council boundaries.
“The new Combined Authority will be lean and efficient, and will make the most of existing resources, avoiding duplication where possible. None of the delivery and running costs of the new Combined Authority will fall on the constituent councils.”
More information about the West of England Combined Authority, including meeting papers, can be found at www.westofengland-ca.org.uk The budget meeting will also be webcast live on the website.
The meeting will take place at Armada House, Telephone Avenue, BS1 4BQ.