Votes due on joining West-Mids ‘super-council’

Shire Hall'MHLC 02-10-13 Shire Hall Oct18 ENGNNL00120130210122638

Shire Hall'MHLC 02-10-13 Shire Hall Oct18 ENGNNL00120130210122638

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Warwickshire County Councillors are due to vote on the proposals to join a combined authority covering most of the West Midlands.

Members of the full council will meet at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday where a decision will be taken on support for joining the new ‘super-council’.

Members are also set to vote on whether to pursue the links between Coventry and Warwickshire as a preferred alternative, and discuss devolution matters for the county.

If adopted, the move would see Warwickshire join a much larger authority but the ideas have already been met with disapproval by several groups including the Warwickshire Liberal Democrats.

The five leaders of the Birmingham and Black Country local authorities wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in November 2014 stating that collectively, they had agreed to establish a combined authority in the West Midlands.

The proposal assumes that Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council would only be able to join as non-voting members.

Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “It is very unclear what Warwickshire would gain from joining a combined authority of metropolitan councils stretching from Coventry to the Black Country.

“This county already performs better than all but one of the other councils across a wide range of economic indicators.

“We’re being asked to pay into creating a new layer of regional bureaucracy and cost to local taxpayers, but with no vote on how pooled budgets might be prioritised and spent.”

The council will meet at 9.30am on Thursday