LEVELLING Up Secretary Michael Gove and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street have today (Monday March 20) signed a landmark deeper devolution deal for the West Midlands, marking a huge shift in power, funding and responsibility from Whitehall to the region.

The deal puts more money and power in the hands of local leaders to invest in infrastructure and services such as bus and train services, skills and housing.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chairperson of the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “This is a truly landmark moment for our region as this Deeper Devolution Deal has resulted in Whitehall granting significant powers and funding to the West Midlands - recognising the importance of local leaders on the ground having greater financial autonomy and decision-making authority.

“Team West Midlands has worked incredibly hard to agree the best possible deal for our residents having earned the trust of Government thanks to our track record of delivery since the formation of the Combined Authority. Devolution is very much a journey and our task now is to work together to show the further trust placed in us is well founded.”

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “This deal goes further than we’ve ever gone before. It will give the Mayor unprecedented power to spend on local priorities and more control over transport, skills and housing – the things people truly care about.

“Today marks a bold new frontier in devolution in this country, and it’s fantastic to see the West Midlands right at the forefront.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, however, criticised the deal – saying: “The government has included nothing in the deal that will make good on its own promise to reduce homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime, within the worst affected areas by 2030.
“We will still have 1,000 fewer police officers than we had in 2010 and an unfair funding formula that costs the West Midlands £40 million a year. There is no levelling up when it comes to policing, community safety and criminal justice.”