At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board today (Wednesday 24 April) members agreed to support the principle of establishing a £1billion ‘West Yorkshire Plus’ transport fund.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
"Today’s decision underlines our commitment to maximise investment in regional infrastructure for the benefit of local people and businesses. It means local authorities, rather than central government, are at the forefront of regional decision making and as a result can respond more effectively to local priorities.
"Adopting this collaborative approach enables the local authorities involved to drive economic growth and job creation, while delivering much needed improvements to regional transport links.
"At long last we will be able to make progress on transformational projects, which have the potential to create up to 20,000 new jobs. What is more, we can provide better access to employment for some of our most deprived areas, where households are dealing with real poverty.
"In Leeds, as in partner authorities, we want to see local ambitions realised and we recognise that action taken by the combined authority has the potential to significantly assist in the rebalancing of the wider economy."
1. The Leeds City Deal with government was confirmed in July 2012 and included a proposal to create a commitment to a £1 billion fund to invest in transport in West Yorkshire over the next decade.
2. The Fund’s primary objective is to maximise an increase in employment and productivity growth by the completion of transport schemes across West Yorkshire, irrespective of boundaries.
3. All West Yorkshire District authorities will be formally considering a report in the coming months which request an ‘in-principle agreement’ for the Fund and the indicative levels of financial commitments set out in the report.