Examination of Witness

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:05 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Andy Street:

Yes, you are right—interesting question. The remarkable thing about this area of the country —I think what I am about to say is true, and it is in contrast to every other combined authority—is that we are completely balanced politically: 14 Conservative MPs, 14 Labour MPs, four Labour councils, three Conservative councils and a Tory Mayor. That means that there has to be a model of working across party and consensually.

The way the decision making works is that our board takes the decisions. That is the seven local authorities, obviously balanced. The executive will be responsible for all the preparation of all the policy areas, all the proposals, but it will be that board that formally takes the decisions. One thing that I often talk about and am very proud of is that every single major financial decision that we have taken over the past five years has been taken unanimously by that board, across party. So, actually, an enormous amount of work has to be done to find what we might call regional interest and that consensual point, rather than—dare I say it on this call—the more conventional Westminster approach, the partisan approach.