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New portfolio holders appointed to WMCA board

21 June 2023

Leader of Walsall Council Mike Bird has been appointed the new portfolio holder for transport on the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board. He takes over from Birmingham leader Ian Ward.

The board is chaired by West Midlands’ elected mayor Andy Street. The appointment of new portfolio holders follows the local elections in May, with leaders of each local authority assuming a role on the board. 

Street welcomed newly elected Birmingham City Council leader John Cotton and deputy leader Sharron Thompson to the board, along with Dudley’s new deputy leader Paul Bradley and Walsall’s new deputy leader Garry Perry.

John Cotton is the new portfolio holder for environment, energy & HS2 while Sharon Thompson becomes portfolio holder for levelling up/devolution.

The portfolio holders will work alongside the combined authority's taskforces which include groups of experts dedicated to a range of goals including improving the fortune of high streets and driving forward zero carbon homes.

The WMCA secured a new Deeper Devolution Deal with Government in March, which involve the transfer of new powers to the West Midlands alongside a budget of more than £1.5bn to help level up the region.

From the next spending review, the WMCA will also have a departmental-style arrangement with a single pot of funding negotiated with Government. 

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