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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to allow City of York Council to join the West Yorkshire Combined Authority; whether the new city deal announced in the Budget for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will apply also to City of York Council; when City of York Council first notified his Department of its wish to join the West Yorkshire Combined Authority; and if he will make a statement.
The West Yorkshire governance review, published in July 2013, stated the wish for the area of the City of York Council to be included in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, should the necessary legislative changes be made. The Government is committed to ensure that the combined authorities’ legislation is appropriate. Following its recent consultation, the Government intends shortly to lay a draft Legislative Reform Order which, if approved and made during the next Parliament, would give greater flexibility to enable - for example – local authority areas which do not all share a boundary but which are in same functional economic area, to form or join a combined authority. Changes can be made to an existing combined authority on the approval of Parliament. If York and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority wish for York to join the Combined Authority, and if the statutory conditions are met and there is wide local support, this Government would seek Parliament’s approval to make this change. The devolution deal announced on 18 March includes the City Of York.