Chancellor meeting demand on pot for West Yorkshire transport schemes

9:00am Friday 30th May 2014

Doubts are still hanging over a £1.6 million transport fund designed to transform West Yorkshire’s infrastructure.

The newly-formed West Yorkshire Combined Authority is now demanding a meeting with Chancellor George Osborne to find a way forward after the Government scuppered its plans to raise much of the cash through a levy on council tax bills.

Authority chairman Councillor Peter Box said: “We need a meeting with him as soon as possible to find a way to break through the current stalemate since it is the Treasury we are being told is blocking the deal.”

He said they were not asking for a Government hand-out, only the chance to raise revenues locally for the schemes.

New council tax rules mean authorities cannot raise taxes by two per cent or more, including such levies, unless they win a local referendum.

Coun Val Slater, executive member for transport at Bradford Council, said: “It’s vital that the Government does honour its commitments.

“This Government was keen for us to go into a Combined Authority arrangement and to be ambitious with the transport fund, so therefore it is important they honour their part of the deal.”

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