It is this challenge that the West Midlands Combined Authority
(known as WMCA) had to meet.
The closest thing to a precursor WMCA has is the old West Midlands
County Council, which was abolished in 1986. The abolition of the
West Midlands County Council left the county without a unifying
authority though cooperative working continued in a handful of
areas such as transport, via the West Midlands Integrated Transport
Authority and policing, via West Midlands Police. A number of these
organisations now have successor organisations that fall under
the WMCA’s remit, for example Transport for West Midlands, an
executive body of the WMCA that oversees transportation (road, rail,
bus and Metro) within the metropolitan county.
The seven metropolitan councils issued a “statement of intent” to
form the WMCA in July 2015. In November 2015, the Chancellor of
the Exchequer agreed and signed a devolution deal with the seven
metropolitan councils and three Local Enterprise Partnerships of
the WM. The authority formally came into being on 17 June 2016
through a statutory instrument (the West Midlands Combined
Authority Order 2016) under the Local Democracy, Economic
Development and Construction Act 2009. The Budget of 22
November 2017 confirmed a second devolution deal for the region
covering housing, skills and digital technology, and in 2018 WMCA
also signed a skills agreement and a housing deal.
The above gives WMCA the following sizeable powers as set out in the