Combined Authority Leaders have described a meeting with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander over the planned, £1.6bn West Yorkshire-Plus Transport Fund as constructive.
As a result of yesterday’s meeting, Mr Alexander is considering a proposal to end a stalemate over the scheme which has been designed to generate 20,000 new jobs and deliver a £2.4bn boost to the economy.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair Cllr Peter Box told the Yorkshire Post, “We expressed our frustration at having signed the city deal some two years ago and still not having come to an agreement with the Government about the funding we need to create the transport fund.
“We pointed out the Leeds city region is the biggest economy in the North and that connectivity not just between the cities of the North but between the districts of the city region are vitally important.
“The Chief Secretary seemed to accept the argument we are making about the economy, he accepted we were serious about wanting to find a way forward and promised to give serious consideration to looking at a model that meets our aspiration.”
Leeds City Council Leader and Combined Authority member Cllr Keith Wakefield, who also attended the meeting, along with Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chair, Roger Marsh told the Yorkshire Post that a strong private and public sector case had been made.
He said, “We have got a challenge to demonstrate that the North can shape its own future better than Whitehall.”
Find out more about the planned West Yorkshire-Plus Transport Fund (pdf 267KB).