Rugby Borough Council to join West Midlands Combined Authority
RUGBY Borough Council is to join the West Midlands Combined Authority as a non-constituent member, after a vote by councillors at a meeting last night (Thursday 9 June 2016).
With Warwickshire County Council having already committed to join, the combined authority would already have decision-making powers over the borough of Rugby and councillors had to decide if they wanted to influence those decisions.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is a group of councils across the region that is working together to seek greater decision-making powers from the government in a process known as devolution. Some powers will only be given if the authority has an elected Mayor but this will not apply to councils that are non-constituent, such as Rugby Borough Council. Powers that could be devolved to the Combined Authority from the government might cover transport infrastructure, mental health or crime and public safety.
Cllr Michael Stokes, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: "Warwickshire County Council has already joined as a non-constituent member, and as part of the local enterprise partnership (LEP) we are already part of a non-constituent member.
"For these reasons some would argue that we are already part of the WMCA, so it was important to consider Rugby's membership again.
"We need to be able to take a seat at the table, represent the views of our residents and help shape the combined authority to ensure maximum benefits for Rugby."
At the meeting councillors also committed the borough council to engage residents and businesses in the devolution process and inform them of the implications of joining the combined authority.
Rugby Borough Council had a deadline of today (10 June 2016) to commit to join the West Midlands Combined Authority to enable the council to be part of the devolution deal negotiations.