WMCA 2018/19 draft budget published
The WMCA has produced its draft budget for 2018/19, with the proposed figure of £178.4 million for the coming financial year due to be discussed by the board tomorrow. The draft budget also proposes the introduction of a £7.5 million council tax precept to fund the Mayor, which equates to £10.80 a year on a Band D property.
Under the mayoral precept, £2 would go on operational running costs of the Mayor's office while £8.20 would be used to reduce congestion through cycling, park and ride sites and the Sprint rapid transit system.
Constituent member authorities would make a contribution totalling £118 million, with £36.5m provided by government to help finance infrastructure projects and developing skills. The contribution from the 17 non-constituent members of the WMCA including local authorities in neighbouring counties, local enterprise partnerships, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority and West Midlands Police remains the same as last year at £25,000 each. For more information, please click here.
Change into Action making a difference
Following the launch of a new alternative giving campaign to help people sleeping rough in Birmingham, the Change Into Action initiative is already helping the city’s homeless.
Launched by the Mayor in December, with a comprehensive and interactive promotional campaign harnessing the power of social media, Change Into Action has seen members of the public donate more than £5,000 in only a month.
Alongside local charities and support services, this is a new way people and businesses are helping through a few clicks of their mobile device, with the aim of directing support into specialist charities and street teams already working to transform the circumstances of rough sleepers.
The scheme is initially being piloted in the city, with the potential to expand across the region. It is jointly supported by Birmingham City Council and the WMCA and is an example of the Homelessness Task Force set up by the Mayor as a priority following his election. To learn more and to donate, please click here.
Picture caption: Mayor Andy Street joins Birmingham City Councillor Sharron Thompson and Steve Philpott of St Basil's homeless charity at the launch
Fire Service Consultation
The public’s views are being sought on how the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) should be run in future, with a consultation being held from today until Thursday, March 8.
Last year the WMFS commissioned an independent review of its current governance, considering several models and identified the WMCA as the best future option. Potential benefits of the WMFS sitting within the WMCA include direct, more joined-up working with all seven constituent metropolitan councils and closer collaboration with police and non-constituent councils, on public safety, regional emergency planning and health.
A ‘Scheme’ was prepared, detailing how WMFS would operate within the WMCA and who would be responsible for making decisions and it is this scheme we are seeking your views on. Please be assured that if WMFS were to move under the WMCA, the type of incidents and emergencies you are used to seeing firefighters attend would not change.
Leadership Team temporary roles
While WMCA Director of Strategy Julia Goldsworthy is on maternity leave, members of the Leadership Team will be providing cover for her role.
We welcome Paul Clark who will join us as assistant to the Leadership Team and Chief Executive at the end of February. Paul will have responsibility for performance management, while Patrick White, Director of Industrial Strategy, will oversee the industrial strategy.
Director of Finance, Sean Pearce will be accountable for the finance commission, while data analytics will be managed by Henry Kippin, Director of Public Service Reform.
Mental Health Star nominations are in
Nominations have now closed for the Thrive Mental Health Commission Awards – with almost 200 nominations received from across the region. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word.
Shortlisting will now take place, ahead of the awards ceremony on Wednesday 31 January, when your Mental Health Stars will be honoured. The awards recognise those who have made a positive difference in mental health and wellbeing during this first year of the Thrive West Midlands initiative.
New Year Honours for local figures
Two leading figures prominent within the WMCA have been recognised for their selfless work in the New Year Honours list.
Phil Loach, West Midlands Fire Service Chief Fire Officer, has been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal, while Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council Leader, Councillor Dennis Harvey, was made an OBE.
Mr Loach, originally from the Black Country, joined West Midlands Fire Service in 1994 and rose through the ranks to become Chief Fire Officer two decades later. Councillor Harvey is the longest-serving Labour council leader in the UK, with 31 years at the helm, and is due to retire in May. He receives his OBE for 'political service in Warwickshire'.
Roadworks affecting 16 Summer Lane
Visitors to WMCA headquarters should be aware that as part of an ongoing upgrade to the electricity network, Western Power Distribution has started major works in Summer Lane, with disruption expected to last until October.
A large part of the road has been closed and a diversionary route is in operation for both directions in and out of the city. Temporary parking restrictions have been implemented, although pedestrian access will be maintained through the closure. Vehicle access to 16 Summer Lane will now be via Hospital Street.
Please allow extra time for your journey to 16 Summer Lane as traffic delays are expected. If you have any queries regarding these works, please contact Gail Woodall on 0121 214 7043.
Future meetings schedule
WMCA Board (public meeting) - 11am-1pm
- Friday 12 January 2018
- Friday 9 February 2018
- Friday 9 March 2018
WMCA Programme Board (private meeting) - 9am-11am
- Friday 12 January 2018
- Friday 26 January 2018
For more information or to send content for the next WMCA news bulletin, please contact:
PR Executive, West Midlands Combined Authority
0121 214 7157
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