Web broadcast of first meeting of WECA.

March 1st is the date set for the first formal meeting of the newly established West of England Combined Authority – and it’s going to be broadcast live on the Web.

The parliamentary order which sets out the legal framework for the combined authority has now received final parliamentary approval. This means the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) – which will manage new powers, funding and responsibilities handed from central Government to the region – is now fully established.

A first public meeting will take place on Wednesday 1 March at Watershed in Bristol, 1:30pm-3:30pm.

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The West of England devolution deal that will see more decisions being made locally, rather than nationally, on issues including transport, housing, adult education and skills has reached a significant milestone.

The WECA members are Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES Council, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council.

On 1st March the group will be taking decisions to enable the WECA to begin functioning, including agreeing the new organisation’s constitution, the statutory officer posts and the nominations for scrutiny and audit committees.

Following the West of England Mayoral elections on 4 May 2017, the combined authority will then be chaired by the new West of England Mayor.

Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES Council, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said:  “The WECA has been established to deliver a devolution deal which unlocks a billion pounds of funding for the area, helping us to further tackle priorities such as improving transport infrastructure, delivering affordable homes and investing in the skills training needed for the local economy.

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Cllr Tim Warren Leader of B&NES.

“It is now our task to ensure we establish robust systems, including scrutiny and audit, that can help ensure the benefits of the deal can be used effectively within the region. We will also plan ahead to secure even greater opportunities offered by future devolution deals.”

As with all statutory authority meetings, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions. These must be submitted in writing before the deadline of 5pm on Thursday 23 February and any petitions or statements should be submitted by 12pm on Tuesday 28 February.  All questions, petitions and statements should be sent to info@westofengland-ca.org.uk.

Full details of the meeting, including agenda, reports and venue information will be published online on the WECA’s website on Tuesday 21 February. Visit www.westofengland-ca.org.uk and go to the Meetings page to view or download them. The meeting will also be webcast.

For your information.   

The Order was taken to the Cabinet meetings at Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset and full Council at South Gloucestershire Council on 14 November 2016, where all three gave their consent for the establishment of the West of England Combined Authority.

The Order then had to go through a Parliamentary process, which included House of Commons and House of Lords committees. The Combined Authority was then legally established on 9 February 2017.

The Combined Authority will be led by the new West of England Mayor and the Cabinet will be the Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Tim Warren, Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, and the Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr Matthew Riddle. 

The West of England Combined Authority will manage new powers, funding and responsibilities handed from central Government to the region as part of the West of England devolution deal. As a result, more decisions will be made locally rather than nationally, including about spending on regional transport, housing, adult education and skills.

An election for the role of West of England Mayor will be held on Thursday 4 May 2017 across voters in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Visit www.westofengland-ca.org.uk to find out more.