Talks launched on new authority to oversee £1bn transport bid

THE Government has launched a consultation over whether local authorities across West Yorkshire working with York should be allowed to create a new combined authority,

If given the go-ahead, the authority would take the leading role in improving the area’s transport network through a £1bn fund as well as overseeing other efforts to grow the economy.

For techical reasons York would not be a full member of the authority at the outset although it is expected to eventually become one.

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Council leaders will be joined by three representatives of opposition groups and the chairman of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Government’s consultation will close on January 2 and if, as expected, Ministers decide to give the go ahead it is due to start work in April.

However, the authority has already started to meet as a shadow body and is due to hold its first meeting in public on Monday.

A Government consultation on a similar proposal for councils in the Sheffield City Region to form a combined authority closed last month.