COUNCIL bosses are urging people across Wharfedale to give their views on West Yorkshire’s devolution deal.

The initiative – announced in March – is the biggest ever of its kind, bringing more than £1.8 billion of investment for West Yorkshire into local control.

Included in the package is £38 million per year over three decades, with “significant” freedom to spend on regional priorities.

There will be £317 million to invest in public transport, cycling and walking through the Transforming Cities Fund; a £25 million fund to support the development of a British Library North; a Government commitment to deliver flooding schemes worth £101 million, control of a £63 million annual adult education budget and £3.2 million to support the development of a “pipeline” of housing sites across West Yorkshire.

The deal will also see the creation of a directly-elected mayor for West Yorkshire, in May next year.

West Yorkshire’s five district councils and the combined authority have agreed to go ahead with a public consultation.

Responses to the consultation – which continues until July 19 – will be considered in the summer, before a submission is made to the Government as part of the parliamentary process to create a mayoral combined authority.

Bradford Council says it is keen to hear the views of everyone from across the district so their input can “help shape the progress of the deal”.

It adds that benefits of the venture will include increased investment in skills and employment, building on progress already made; improved public transport, with a focus on sustainable transport, and a greater say for people over services and investments in the area.

Bradford Council leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, who also chairs West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “We were delighted to finally secure this devolution deal.

“It will bring much-needed new investment and powers from Whitehall to West Yorkshire, benefitting people from Keighley to Kippax and all points in between.

“We are pleased to move this forward to the next formal stage which leads to consultation, new governance arrangements and then completion.

“As well as placing more power in the hands of local people, it heralds the start of decades of extra investment in infrastructure, skills and communities that will ensure the region and its cities and towns can compete on the global stage, attract investment and grow their economies in ways that are clean, green and to the benefit of everyone.

“In these exceptionally challenging times, more than ever it is vital that we lay the firm foundations that our district will need to be resilient and equipped to succeed in the future.

“Leading organisations across the region have already committed to working closely as part of the West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Board as we start on the long road to getting the economy back on its feet.

“Bradford has been at the heart of negotiations and will continue to play a leading role under devolution, making sure that the deal unlocks potential, opportunities and growth across the district.”

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