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Council boss backs £1.5bn devolution deal

The leader of Dudley Council, Patrick Harley, believes the impending £1.5 billion devolution deal – aimed at levelling up the West Midlands – will give the borough hope and optimism in a move that will ‘create jobs, homes and opportunities’.

The bus station in Dudley remains one of the most-used across the whole of the West Midlands

Confirmed earlier this year, the West Midlands Combined Authority secured new, significant and longer-term funding agreements, including 100 per cent business rates retention for 10 years, worth £450 million.

In short, it will enhance the WMCA’s power to share money locally across the region to help with economic growth, housing and employment. New ‘growth zones’ will also be created in underprivileged areas, while local authorities will push people into work and to learn new skills.

The £1.5bn move will be discussed at Dudley Council’s cabinet meeting next week.

Council leader, Councillor Harley said: “I have always been clear in my opinion that local decisions should be taken by local people, and as such I am delighted to back this very exciting devolution deal for our region.

“It will give us greater financial freedom and flexibility to manage our own affairs. It will create jobs, homes and opportunities for our residents.”

Elsewhere, an additional £60 million, courtesy of the WMCA, will be put towards the Metro extension between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill.

The WMCA will then have control over which bus companies will operate in the region.

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