Rugby Borough Council to hold special meeting to discuss joining West Midlands "super council" - The Rugby Observer

Rugby Borough Council to hold special meeting to discuss joining West Midlands "super council"

Rugby Editorial 9th Jun, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

A SPECIAL meeting will take place tonight for Rugby Borough Council to discuss the town’s position on the new West Midlands “super council”.

Taking place at the town hall at 7pm tonight (Thursday June 9), councillors will come together to discuss whether Rugby will join the proposed West Midlands Combined Authority.

The WMCA hopes to move powers from central government into the area to give local authorities the power to make their own decisions. So far, Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall have pledged to become part of the new super council.

The borough council last considered its position on whether or not to join the WMCA at a meeting in October last year. Councillors agreed to continue to engage in discussions but agreed to wait until a clearer picture of the combined authority is known before committing to join. The council also agreed to take on board the opinions of local residents before making a final decision.

If Rugby Borough Council were to join the combined authority, they would join as a non-constituent member – along with Warwickshire County, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Redditch, Tamworth, Telford and Cannock Chase, who have already agreed to join.

This would give the council a seat at all WMCA meetings and the power to vote on a number of issues – but the full role of a non-constituent member remains unclear.

All councils in the area were given a deadline of Friday June 10 to decide to join, or they will not be involved in discussions for the next 12 months.

A council statement said: “If we want Rugby’s needs to be considered, we would need to be at the table.

“It will be much easier to have a voice and influence over the significant amount of infrastructure money available within the WMCA area and where it is spent if Rugby is within the WMCA footprint.”

The council also highlighted how Warwickshire County Council decided to join the WMCA last month, which means the combined authority could be making some decisions affecting Rugby. If the borough council does not become a non-constituent member, then they will not necessarily be involved in those discussions.

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