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New Role for West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chairman, Cllr Peter Box CBE

Councillor Peter Box has announced he is stepping down from his role as Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority to concentrate on his new position chairing of the national, Key Cities Group.

Announcing the change, Cllr Box said:
“I am proud to have been appointed to Chair the Key Cities Group, an organisation committed to promoting growth for 21 cities across the UK. This vacancy came about suddenly and I was grateful for the faith other city leaders put in me to help guide the group to deliver for all the members.

“Obviously, my first commitment remains to the Wakefield district and getting the best deal for it, the rest of West Yorkshire and our wider region. However, this role is going to require a significant amount of my time and attention and given I have also always thought the role of Chair of our Combined Authority should revolve every two to three years, I have decided to step aside from the Chair of the Combined Authority. 

Positive impact

“In my time as Chair, we have achieved a substantial amount. We secured the largest City Region Growth Deal outside London and established the £1bn West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund to invest in schemes that will support economic growth, new jobs and housing as well as reducing congestion and improving air quality. Two major Transport Fund schemes, Wakefield Eastern Relief Road and Temple Green park and ride, have already been delivered and are having a positive impact on many people’s daily lives.

“In the 12 months from April 2016 to March 2017, the Combined Authority invested £270million in services and projects to benefit local people and the City Region economy. During that time we opened new rail stations, Kirkstall Forge in Leeds and Low Moor in Bradford, and provided £10m worth of grants to small and medium-sized businesses creating over 1,300 jobs. During that 12 month period we also invested £114 million in transport services, which included subsidised travel for young people, seniors, disabled people and job seekers to help them access education, training and employment. This is just the start of our plans as a Combined Authority but I am extremely proud of what we have begun.

Time and focus

“West Yorkshire Combined Authority has a vital role to play developing City Region-wide investments and programmes that make people’s lives better, more prosperous and full of opportunity. The Chair of the Combined Authority needs to dedicate time and focus to be successful and this is the reason why I am stepping aside as Chair so that someone else can ensure the successes keep coming.

“I will still be involved as you would expect but looking to the future, with Leeds’ Cllr Blake chairing the Core Cities Group, me in the Chair of the Key Cities Group and another West Yorkshire leader chairing the Combined Authority, this is a great time for West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region to lead inclusive growth across the North and nationwide.” 
 

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