Box prepares to hand over authority reins to Bradford Council leader

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box
Wakefield Council leader Peter Box
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WAKEFIELD COUNCIL leader Peter Box has called for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to do more to connect with the public as he announced his decision to stand down as chairman of the body.

Coun Box, who has led the organisation since it was formed three years ago, will formally step down next week as he takes up the leadership of the Key Cities group of councils.

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe is widely expected to take over at the top of the combined authority which brings together local authorities to work on major cross-boundary issues including transport, skills and supporting business.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Coun Box said he was proud of the major projects the authority had funded that would help grow the region’s economy and the way council leaders had set aside longstanding rivalries between the area’s towns and cities.

He admitted he was “disappointed” that a devolution deal for the area had not been agreed but insisted “it’s not for want of trying”.

Coun Box said the intention had always been for the leadership of the combined authority to rotate between council leaders and that after three years in charge now was the right moment to hand over the reins.