Solihull Council Leader to Chair New West Midlands Combined Authority


Meet the new Chair of the 'Shadow' (should that be 'Shadowy' ?) West Midlands Combined Authority, bidding to be the new Midlands Powerhouse, super-council. His name is Cllr Bob Sleigh.

We never voted for him. You never voted for him. The seven leaders of Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull, Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton Councils voted for him. Only two of them are Tories and they chose a Tory.

Hardly democratic, but that's politics these days. No wonder so many people are supporting Jeremy Corbyn.

The Birmingham Mail article on this reads ...

"Solihull Council leader Bob Sleigh has been elected chairman of the shadow board for the region's new combined authority.

Coun Sleigh has been handed the top job with Sandwell Council leader Darren Cooper elected vice-chairman at the inaugural West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) meeting this morning.

Coun Sleigh is one of only two Conservatives among the seven council leaders in the running.

The announcement comes as talks continue over proposals for the combined authority, which is a prerequisite for winning powers and funding currently hoarded in Whitehall.

It remains to be seen whether spatial planning, powers over housing and NHS spending will form part of its remit.

Less contentious are unity over transport, which already largely exists, as well as infrastructure and skills.

The authority, which also contains Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Dudley and Walsall, aims to follow in the footsteps of Greater Manchester which has secured billions of pounds worth of spending powers.

The appointment of Coun Sleigh, along with the dismissal of the "Greater Birmingham" title, serves to quell fears that the authority would be dominated by Birmingham City Council, which is the largest in Europe."


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