The Great Solihull Sell-Off?

15 July 2015

Solihull Council last night (14th July 2015) approved in principle to join up to a new "super-council" with authorities in Coventry, Birmingham and the Black Country. Solihull was the last authority to sign up.
The Green Party chose neither to approve or vote against the proposal. They outlined several key areas that needed to be changed before they could consider giving their support. Opposition leader Cllr James Burn said that the plans needed to change to meet the needs of Solihull residents, and if they weren't changed, the decision to join the Combined Authority would be known as the "Great Solihull Sell-Off" in future years.
Cllr Burn outlined three areas of change that the Greens say are needed.



As it will be able to do almost anything a council can, the Combined Authority should be accountable to its people. Those in charge should be elected like the London Assembly, and there should be significant representation from small businesses, unions and the voluntary sector.

Ensuring everyone benefits

There’s a real danger that only those well-off will benefit from the Combined Authority, and if a recession hits there will be real problems. We want to see an aim on actually making life better, not just unfocussed growth. We need pro-active steps to make sure everyone benefits and to ensure money stays in the area rather than being sucked out.

A leader in green growth

The Combined Authority represents a chance for the West Midlands to become the UK’s leader in green growth. But it’s not being taken. The West Midlands was the birthplace of the industrial revolution, and we want it to be the birthplace of the green industrial revolution.

Cllr Sleigh, the Leader of the Council offered to meet with the Green Party and other parties to ensure that their concerns were looked at. We will know in October when final plans arrive how far this has happened.

James was also interviewed on Radio WM this morning discussing the concerns about having a non-elected body with such significant powers. Listen at at about 20 minutes in.

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