Warwickshire CC will decide whether it wants to join the fledgling West Midlands Combined Authority – one day before the deadline for devolution bids to be submitted to the government.
The leaders of Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, and Walsall MBCs, and Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton city councils have already signed up to the idea.
But getting the support of the other 13 local authorities included the region’s local enterprise partnerships covering the Black Country, Greater Birmingham, and Coventry and Warwickshire has proved more problematic.
Chancellor George Osborne set 4 September as the deadline for areas to submit bids for devolution so they could be considered as part of the spending review.
Bob Sleigh (Con), leader of Solihull MBC and chair of the WMCA’s shadow board, told LGC he “would hope” councils would “put their name” to the combined authority ahead of the 4 September deadline.
If Warwickshire CC does decide to join the WMCA it would only be a ‘non-constituent’ member with no voting rights, according to a report due to go before full council on 3 September.
Elected representatives will also be asked if they would prefer to pursue forming a ‘Coventry-Warwickshire Combined Authority’ instead, although Coventry City Council has already expressed its desire to join the proposed West Midlands body.
However, the city council could technically join Warwickshire’s combined authority as a non-constituent member, should that come to fruition.
Stratford-on-Avon DC is also due to take a decision on whether to join the WMCA as a non-constituent member on 1 September.
However, the remaining four districts in Warwickshire, and other affected districts in north Worcestershire and parts of Staffordshire, are not due to decide until after the 4 September deadline.
When asked if councils could still join the WMCA after that date, Cllr Sleigh said: “We are working on a number of arrangements.”