West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has welcomed approval by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) of its budget for the coming financial year.
Members of the WMCA board today (Friday 9 February) gave their backing to the proposed figure of over £170m for 2018/19 at its meeting in Birmingham Council House.
The introduction of a precept to pay for the office of the Mayor of the West Midlands and for schemes to tackle congestion has been deferred for a year.
Following discussions between Street and the WMCA board, an alternative funding package has been found for this financial year only.
Street said: “We have worked hard together to reach a financial agreement that does not affect spending and investment schemes.
“The leaders felt that in the current financial climate a precept on the council taxpayer in this coming year was not right at this time and I have listened to that view.
“I am delighted that we have now been able to agree a funding arrangement which both addresses those concerns and allows us all to continue to work on behalf of the West Midlands.”
Mayoral running costs of £823,000 will be covered by money from the Mayoral Capacity Fund - a scheme announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year as well as a contribution of £265,000 from the constituent authorities following a rebate granted them then returned to the WMCA in 2017/18.
Deferral of the precept will not materially change the WMCA’s reported position on the planned investment of over £485 million into the investment programme for 2018/19 to 2020/21.