BRADFORD Council’s Executive will be asked to give its consent to a Government Order to establish a West Yorkshire combined authority as part of a devolution deal when it meets on Tuesday.

If agreed, ratification would take place at that Executive meeting and also at an Extraordinary Full Council meeting on the same day, and then at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on November 27.

Agreement would lead to elections for a combined authority mayor that would take place in May 2021.

In March the Government announced a “minded to” mayoral devolution deal for the West Yorkshire area (which covers Bradford District, Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale).

Bradford Council endorsed the “minded to” deal subject to public consultation.

The deal will guarantee long term funding for Bradford District that will allow investment in public transport, support business, improve skills and living standards while tackling the climate emergency.

Mention of devolution makes people 'glaze over'

It will also mean more of decisions that have major impacts on the region will be made locally, rather than by central Government. Additionally, West Yorkshire would have the arrangements in place to negotiate with Government for further powers and funding for regeneration and public services in the years ahead.

The deal will mean a number of specific improvements for the Bradford District, including:

• £500,000 in direct funding to help develop a masterplan for Bradford city centre, preparing the city for a possible station for Northern Powerhouse Rail

• Measures to transform Bradford City Centre through pedestrianisation on parts of Hall Ings, new cycle infrastructure and better access to Bradford Interchange

• A new park-and-ride for South Bradford providing alternative access to the city centre

• Support for an ActEarly research hub to improve the lives of young children and develop opportunities for them and their families. This builds on the work Born in Bradford do at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, and one of the Labour candidates for West Yorkshire Mayor, said: “The impact of Covid-19 will mean our region will face a major task in rebuilding our economy.

"The Devolution Deal will be vital to this process and to providing new and greener jobs for people across our district and the wider region. It will mean that we will have more of a say on what happens locally so that we can improve our region in the way we want, with extra investment, better transport links and infrastructure and more opportunities for our communities. It will mean that we can emerge from the pandemic in a better position to compete internationally and for our region to punch its weight so that we can benefit everyone who lives and works here.”