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Black Country Chamber – Business Community key to West Midlands Combined Authority Success

Greater collaboration and communication with the business community is central to making the West Midlands Combined Authority a success, Chamber delegates have been told.

Speaking at a joint event held by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, the WMCA’s vice chairman councillor Peter Lowe called for business figures to make their voices heard in order to help the Combined Authority bring ‘added value’ to the region.

He also urged delegates at Birmingham’s iCentrum to have their say on the roles and functions of an elected Mayor by taking part in the Mayoral WMCA Consultation which closes on Sunday.

“The WMCA is open for business and this gives us the opportunity not just to follow other areas of the country but to actually be central in driving the proper devolution agenda,” said Mr Lowe.

“The points you have raised are no different to discussions we’ve had with the third sector, the voluntary sector and with other public sectors.

“The issues remain each and the same. It is about how do we make added value? How can you feed back to ourselves in order to make the West Midlands Combined Authority a success? I think one of the things we need to do is to make sure we have got that communication in place and we continue to share that information.”

Chief executive Martin Reeves echoed calls for collective thinking - as he outlined the WMCA’s ambitious plans to double the region’s output and create more than 500,000 jobs over the next 15 years.

“The sense for the West Midlands is that this is the most well-founded economic plan in terms of comments, business data and projections,” he said.

“These figures are based not on some kind of intuitive feel or some sense of what Greater Manchester or London are doing. These are based on hard data of where the growth in this area can be sustained. This is a chance to put a marker down and say we are going to deliver something very special for the West Midlands.”

Commenting on the event, Adrian Wright, Black Country Chamber of Commerce President said: “Collaboration and communication were certainly the key words of this event.

“The WMCA represents a potentially game-changing partnership between the great cities and urban hubs in our region. But for their ambitious aims for economic growth and job creation to become a reality, they will need to meaningfully engage the region’s vibrant business community.

“We, and our neighbouring Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, look forward to continuing to work together on connecting members and businesses into this important debate.”

For more information on the consultation into the different functions it is proposed that the Mayoral WMCA could have click here. The deadline for responses is Sunday 21 August.

Last modified on Friday, 19 August 2016 14:19

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