The West Midlands Combined Authority is a flagship Tory policy designed to give the impression they are creating the ‘Midland Engine’ or ‘Northern Powerhouse’ to convince us devolution will mean more investment and more jobs for the these regions. However, there is no more money available, and as austerity continues, it really means the blame can and will be shifted, for cuts and reduced services, from Central to Local Government.

Wyre Forest is not in the area for the West Midlands Combined Authority, nor is it a non-constituent member like some councils such as Redditch which will benefit. It is therefore a mystery why he is championing this Authority locally unless it is in his ‘Ministerial’ brief for trade post Brexit.

In fact, it can be more readily argued that with poorer transport links, and lower economic prospects for residents, we will lose out to our near neighbours. That is unless we get involved, and more is done about our transport infrastructure, education, and housing in Wyre Forest – all things the Tories are dismantling thanks to their cuts at an alarming pace. Of course, the Tories want to get their man for Mayor elected to the West Midlands Combined Authority, yet oddly, the local Tories show no interest at all in getting involved.

The question here is, why? It will undoubtedly bring some economic benefit to the region even if not at the level the Tories proclaim. Maybe they really know it’s all smoke and mirrors?

Stephen Brown

Wyre Forest Labour Party

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