On 31 March 2014 the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Order 2014 (SI 2014/864) (the Order) was made, creating the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (the WYCA).
The WYCA members are the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council, Leeds City Council, and Wakefield Metropolitan District Council (the Constituent Councils).
Under the Order, the City of York Council is a non-constituent council (the Non-Constituent Council) and has a lesser level of WYCA involvement compared to the Constituent Councils.
The Order does not provide for a WYCA mayor.
WYCA has transport, economic development and regeneration functions.
WYCA is in discussions with the Government regarding a further devolution deal, to include not just the Constituent Councils and the Non-Constituent Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), but also the North Yorkshire District Councils of Craven, Harrogate and Selby.
The WYCA has inherited all of the functions, property, rights and liabilities of the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority and the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
Economic development and regeneration
The Order provides that any functions exercisable by the Constituent Councils for the purposes of economic development and regeneration are concurrently exercisable by WYCA (in reliance on the general power of competence under section 1 of the Localism Act 2011).
Under Schedule 1 to the Order, the Combined Authority comprises:
- an elected member from each Constituent Council and the Non-Constituent Council
- three further elected members (from three different Councils in the WYCA area) to reflect so far as reasonably practicable the balance of political parties among the member councils
- a member of the LEP.
The Order requires the appointment of substitute members to stand in when required, and the appointment of a chairman and a vice chairman.
For a WYCA meeting to be quorate, at least three members (or substitutes) must be present. Each member has one vote, save for the member representing the Non-Constituent Council and the LEP, neither of whom have a vote. Decisions are approved by simple majority, but there is no casting vote and so a tied vote will not be carried.
WYCA is also required to appoint at least one member of each council to an overview and scrutiny committee. Members of the scrutiny committee cannot be members of WYCA.