Business secretary Greg Clark has announced the government will begin “immediately” negotiating a second devolution deal for the West Midlands.
Proposals relating to the region gaining more powers over skills, including control of the apprenticeship levy, more funding for transport infrastructure and housing, and improvements to the way public services, particularly mental health, are delivered were submitted to government two weeks ago, West Midlands mayor Andy Street (Con) said. Mr Street said a second devolution deal would “enable this region to deliver a place-based industrial strategy”.
Speaking at an event about the industrial strategy at Birmingham University this morning, Mr Clark said: “Andy and I have always believed that the West Midlands devolution deal should be the foundation not the end of further empowerment to the region as part of our industrial strategy…
“We will begin talks immediately with the mayor and combined authority with a view to creating a further devolution package.”
Mr Clark said he wanted to ensure Mr Street and the combined authority have the “powers they need to support the delivery of the industrial strategy in the West Midlands”.
He added: “I look forward to agreeing that deal in the weeks ahead.”