The Combined Authority Budget 2022/2023

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This public engagement ran from the 12th January to 26th January 2022 and has now closed. Thank you to everyone who got in touch or asked a question.

All questions, comments and suggestions will be considered, and further information will be shared here once available.

The information below was presented during the public engagement.





Who we are

Working in partnership we ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network.

2021 was a historic year as we welcomed our new Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin. Working alongside the leaders of West Yorkshire councils, the Mayor helps to make the region an even better place to live, work, visit and do business.

Separate to the Combined Authority’s role, the Mayor is also responsible for the functions previously exercised by the Police and Crime Commissioner. This includes setting out a police and crime plan and determining police and crime objectives. The role includes setting their own budget and having a separate Police and Crime budget consultation.


Our Priorities

The Mayor launched a set of pledges which we are delivering with our partners. These include keeping women and girls safe, creating well paid, skilled jobs and tackling the climate emergency.

As well as supporting the Mayors pledges, we work on your behalf to:

  • Build a strong and successful economy for everyone

  • Make sure everyone has access to a good job and great quality of life

  • Ensure the region has the modern transport network it needs to thrive

  • Ensure everyone in the region can enjoy a clean, healthy, and inclusive environment

  • Make sure we are good value for money and deliver for the region

  • Ensure the funding we receive benefits the region in tangible ways

With further devolution we could achieve even more for the region, and for you.


How we spend our money

We want West Yorkshire to be an amazing place to live, work, visit and do business with. We understand to fulfil these needs we need to spend our money wisely.

As a Combined Authority, we get our funding from:

  • Government funding:

  • Gainsharethis is the investment fund worth £38 million a year which was agreed as part of the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal. It transferred central government funding to West Yorkshire giving the Mayoral Combined Authority greater ability to prioritise investments in a way that will make a real difference to people and communities in West Yorkshire – including interventions on skills, businesses, inclusion, climate and infrastructure. The funding is known as the Combined Authority’s Single Investment Fund which is the pot of available money that funds major projects in the region.

  • Adult Education Budget – through the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal the Combined Authority took on the responsibility for the £65 million Adult Education Budget across West Yorkshire. This means the Combined Authority will be able to make sure that skills provision in West Yorkshire supports adults to develop the skills they need to enter and stay in work, or enrol in an apprenticeship, traineeship, or other learning and meets the needs of the region’s businesses.

  • AEB funding will be used to make learning more inclusive and increase the supply of skills to support key sectors, improve West Yorkshire’s resilience by identifying and delivering the skills needed for the future, and benefit the 380,000 people - or 26% of West Yorkshire’s working age population - who have low or no qualifications.

  • Sustainable Travel – known as our Transforming Cities Fund. This is a major new programme of transport infrastructure investment secured as part of the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal. The programme, which is being delivered by the Combined Authority in partnership with local authorities, will be funded through £317 million from the Department for Transport (DfT) plus local match funding up to £140 million.

  • Communities across Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York are set to benefit from the schemes, which include new or improved bus and rail stations, cycling and walking infrastructure, and new Park and Rides.

  • The largest portion of our annual revenue income comes from the transport levy, which our partner councils in West Yorkshire collect through Council Tax.

  • Gross revenue expenditure for 2021/2022 has increased from £100.1 million to £147.1 million: this funds discounted travel and subsidised bus services for children, young people, older people and communities, as well as travel information, bus stations, stops and shelters. It also includes new expenditure on adult education and brownfield housing for which funding was secured as part of the devolution deal.

  • The transport levy remains at the same level as last year: £92.2 million. This enables a similar level of funding to be directed to protect front line services, particularly on bus services and concessionary travel as the industry enters a recovery phase. We continue to seek to make savings across all our service areas that offset unavoidable increases in our running costs due to rising inflation and business rates.


When spending money we have a number of ways to check and balance our spending. This makes sure we are spending our funding wisely and on things that matter to the people of West Yorkshire. Many projects the Combined Authority funds have money already allocated or awarded to it. This means we have little chance to change how we spend a large proportion of the funding we get.

Any spending decision made by the Combined Authority are required to be appraised and tested by our Assurance Framework. This Framework provides Government, the Combined Authority, local partners and the public with the assurance that funding decisions are proper, transparent and deliver value for money.

The Combined Authority also has strict guidelines, frameworks and standards for standing orders.

Another way we ensure transparency in our spending is by reporting our finances to the Combined Authority and the Finance, Resource and Corporate Committee (Investment Committee). Regularly reporting our spending means we are held to account to ensure money is spent wisely.

Robust checks are in place around all funding decisions and to ensure transparency around our finances all decisions are subject to approval by the Combined Authority and the Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee. We also have three scrutiny committees in place which cover finance, corporate and economy.  

More information on our budgets and budget approval processes is available here: Governance information for the Combined Authority

When spending money, we have a set of investment priorities. These priorities must be represented in our projects as they underpin our ambitions and help us to measure our success. They are:

  1. Good Jobs and Resilient Businesses

  1. Skills and Training for People

  1. Creating Great Places and Accelerated Infrastructure

  1. Tackling the Climate Emergency and Environmental Sustainability

  1. Future Transport

  1. Culture and Creative Industries


What we spend our money on

In 2020/2021 we spent a total of £38 million on:

  • Improving skills (through the Employment Hub and ReBoot courses) - £13.5m

  • Local Authority Cultural Recovery, which includes funding to maximise creative business potential - £5m

  • West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Plan - £7m

  • Getting Mayoral Combined Authority Ready - £3m

  • Transforming Cities Fund - £9.5m

Future plans

An additional £3.5 million in funding has been allocated to support the Mayoral pledges, these include:

  • Bus Reform - £1m

  • Culture and Creative - £0.5m

  • Skills - £0.5m

  • Fair Work Charter - £0.6m (over three years)

  • Inclusivity Champion - £0.4m (over three years)

  • Supporting Business - £0.5m

The Mayor has the opportunity to introduce a Mayoral precept on West Yorkshire council tax bills. This has been ruled out, as we cannot expect our communities to pay more after the economic impact of the pandemic.

We are always looking at new funding avenues to improve our services. In the coming year, we will be looking at more funding for our bus services, clarity about funding for the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and funding to support West Yorkshire’s economic recovery.

A separate survey is open on the Police Budget for 2022/23 - this asks the public whether they would support raising the police element of the local council tax, called the 'precept', to enable further recruitment of police officers and staff to keep communities safe. More information is available here: West Yorkshire Mayor wants your views on the Police budget


How to have your say

Have any thoughts about our budget? You can get involved and share your thoughts by:

  • Asking a question using our Q&A function

  • Tagging us on social media via #TellTracy

  • Emailing yourvoice@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

  • Calling our Metro Line phone line on 0113 245 7676

  • Writing to us at Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA) (no stamp required)





This public engagement ran from the 12th January to 26th January 2022 and has now closed. Thank you to everyone who got in touch or asked a question.

All questions, comments and suggestions will be considered, and further information will be shared here once available.

The information below was presented during the public engagement.





Who we are

Working in partnership we ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network.

2021 was a historic year as we welcomed our new Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin. Working alongside the leaders of West Yorkshire councils, the Mayor helps to make the region an even better place to live, work, visit and do business.

Separate to the Combined Authority’s role, the Mayor is also responsible for the functions previously exercised by the Police and Crime Commissioner. This includes setting out a police and crime plan and determining police and crime objectives. The role includes setting their own budget and having a separate Police and Crime budget consultation.


Our Priorities

The Mayor launched a set of pledges which we are delivering with our partners. These include keeping women and girls safe, creating well paid, skilled jobs and tackling the climate emergency.

As well as supporting the Mayors pledges, we work on your behalf to:

  • Build a strong and successful economy for everyone

  • Make sure everyone has access to a good job and great quality of life

  • Ensure the region has the modern transport network it needs to thrive

  • Ensure everyone in the region can enjoy a clean, healthy, and inclusive environment

  • Make sure we are good value for money and deliver for the region

  • Ensure the funding we receive benefits the region in tangible ways

With further devolution we could achieve even more for the region, and for you.


How we spend our money

We want West Yorkshire to be an amazing place to live, work, visit and do business with. We understand to fulfil these needs we need to spend our money wisely.

As a Combined Authority, we get our funding from:

  • Government funding:

  • Gainsharethis is the investment fund worth £38 million a year which was agreed as part of the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal. It transferred central government funding to West Yorkshire giving the Mayoral Combined Authority greater ability to prioritise investments in a way that will make a real difference to people and communities in West Yorkshire – including interventions on skills, businesses, inclusion, climate and infrastructure. The funding is known as the Combined Authority’s Single Investment Fund which is the pot of available money that funds major projects in the region.

  • Adult Education Budget – through the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal the Combined Authority took on the responsibility for the £65 million Adult Education Budget across West Yorkshire. This means the Combined Authority will be able to make sure that skills provision in West Yorkshire supports adults to develop the skills they need to enter and stay in work, or enrol in an apprenticeship, traineeship, or other learning and meets the needs of the region’s businesses.

  • AEB funding will be used to make learning more inclusive and increase the supply of skills to support key sectors, improve West Yorkshire’s resilience by identifying and delivering the skills needed for the future, and benefit the 380,000 people - or 26% of West Yorkshire’s working age population - who have low or no qualifications.

  • Sustainable Travel – known as our Transforming Cities Fund. This is a major new programme of transport infrastructure investment secured as part of the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal. The programme, which is being delivered by the Combined Authority in partnership with local authorities, will be funded through £317 million from the Department for Transport (DfT) plus local match funding up to £140 million.

  • Communities across Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York are set to benefit from the schemes, which include new or improved bus and rail stations, cycling and walking infrastructure, and new Park and Rides.

  • The largest portion of our annual revenue income comes from the transport levy, which our partner councils in West Yorkshire collect through Council Tax.

  • Gross revenue expenditure for 2021/2022 has increased from £100.1 million to £147.1 million: this funds discounted travel and subsidised bus services for children, young people, older people and communities, as well as travel information, bus stations, stops and shelters. It also includes new expenditure on adult education and brownfield housing for which funding was secured as part of the devolution deal.

  • The transport levy remains at the same level as last year: £92.2 million. This enables a similar level of funding to be directed to protect front line services, particularly on bus services and concessionary travel as the industry enters a recovery phase. We continue to seek to make savings across all our service areas that offset unavoidable increases in our running costs due to rising inflation and business rates.


When spending money we have a number of ways to check and balance our spending. This makes sure we are spending our funding wisely and on things that matter to the people of West Yorkshire. Many projects the Combined Authority funds have money already allocated or awarded to it. This means we have little chance to change how we spend a large proportion of the funding we get.

Any spending decision made by the Combined Authority are required to be appraised and tested by our Assurance Framework. This Framework provides Government, the Combined Authority, local partners and the public with the assurance that funding decisions are proper, transparent and deliver value for money.

The Combined Authority also has strict guidelines, frameworks and standards for standing orders.

Another way we ensure transparency in our spending is by reporting our finances to the Combined Authority and the Finance, Resource and Corporate Committee (Investment Committee). Regularly reporting our spending means we are held to account to ensure money is spent wisely.

Robust checks are in place around all funding decisions and to ensure transparency around our finances all decisions are subject to approval by the Combined Authority and the Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee. We also have three scrutiny committees in place which cover finance, corporate and economy.  

More information on our budgets and budget approval processes is available here: Governance information for the Combined Authority

When spending money, we have a set of investment priorities. These priorities must be represented in our projects as they underpin our ambitions and help us to measure our success. They are:

  1. Good Jobs and Resilient Businesses

  1. Skills and Training for People

  1. Creating Great Places and Accelerated Infrastructure

  1. Tackling the Climate Emergency and Environmental Sustainability

  1. Future Transport

  1. Culture and Creative Industries


What we spend our money on

In 2020/2021 we spent a total of £38 million on:

  • Improving skills (through the Employment Hub and ReBoot courses) - £13.5m

  • Local Authority Cultural Recovery, which includes funding to maximise creative business potential - £5m

  • West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Plan - £7m

  • Getting Mayoral Combined Authority Ready - £3m

  • Transforming Cities Fund - £9.5m

Future plans

An additional £3.5 million in funding has been allocated to support the Mayoral pledges, these include:

  • Bus Reform - £1m

  • Culture and Creative - £0.5m

  • Skills - £0.5m

  • Fair Work Charter - £0.6m (over three years)

  • Inclusivity Champion - £0.4m (over three years)

  • Supporting Business - £0.5m

The Mayor has the opportunity to introduce a Mayoral precept on West Yorkshire council tax bills. This has been ruled out, as we cannot expect our communities to pay more after the economic impact of the pandemic.

We are always looking at new funding avenues to improve our services. In the coming year, we will be looking at more funding for our bus services, clarity about funding for the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and funding to support West Yorkshire’s economic recovery.

A separate survey is open on the Police Budget for 2022/23 - this asks the public whether they would support raising the police element of the local council tax, called the 'precept', to enable further recruitment of police officers and staff to keep communities safe. More information is available here: West Yorkshire Mayor wants your views on the Police budget


How to have your say

Have any thoughts about our budget? You can get involved and share your thoughts by:

  • Asking a question using our Q&A function

  • Tagging us on social media via #TellTracy

  • Emailing yourvoice@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

  • Calling our Metro Line phone line on 0113 245 7676

  • Writing to us at Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA) (no stamp required)




CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Please note, if you have logged into your Your Voice profile, your name might appear with the question.

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    I have 3 questions which are shown below. Project Gigabit – The role out of this technology is a double edged sword. According to recent ONS research, 1.5 million jobs are at high risk of losing jobs to automation and AI which gigabit connectivity is likely to accelerate. Evidential business data clearly illustrates the issue in manufacturing. Manufacturing have declined by 3% since 1980, whilst productivity grew by 20% and this trend is set to continue, and much of West Yorkshire’s economy is manufacturing based. Question 1. What plans are in place or being considered to mitigate the effects that gigabit connectivity and AI are likely to bring with them? West Yorkshire claims to have a knowledge based economy, and yet there’s consideration of retired workers re-entering the workforce to fill shortages. Surely, if policy local authority focus has been on building a knowledge based economy, then the required skills should already be available to bridge that gap. Intelligence from business facing teams has identified that recruiting and retaining staff with required skills (including digital) is a key issue in rural areas. Variations in claimant count at local authority level suggest a similar issue in large conurbations, despite local authorities experiencing strong growth in job postings across the region. The increase in the rise in fuel prices and inflation generally is likely to push up borrowing costs which ultimately cause business to review head count and general costs. Question 2. Why is it that there’s still 26% of West Yorkshire’s working age population who have low or no qualifications? The move to a greener economy will require green job placement and therefore personnel who are green skills qualified. There’s an aspiration to convert some traditional jobs in car servicing to electric car servicing, however, the green economy doesn’t have single facet and we should focus on creating more green projects, since is the current global direction of travel. It appears that we are only looking at conversion of roles to new green roles, rather than looking at the opportunities that a seismic shift in green technology will deliver. We need to be ahead of the curve, rather than followers of other business in the UK. That means working with private business and encouraging them to move to our region. Question 3. What steps are being taken to create jobs and attract green commercial enterprise into the region?

    Cyberbob asked 11 months ago

    Question 1.

     

    The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s annual labour market report contains a section on the effects of automation on West Yorkshire’s labour market, and notes the requirement for retraining to support workers.  

     

    The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership have a number of programmes which identify skills needs for the region’s workforce and organisations, and offer retraining or upskilling opportunities for individuals, including the Adult Education Budget and Skills Connect.


    Digital skills remain one of the most in demand skills by employers. There are many barriers to the development of digital skills for individuals, including rurality, income, depravation and also the demand for skills in particular sectors. The Local Digital Skills Partnership brings together leaders from across West Yorkshire to create a collaborative partnership that can influence the digital skills landscape in our region. Alongside this, the Combined Authority are developing digital skills programmes for to reach those furthest from the labour market and ensure greater community coverage to ensure no one is left behind. This will provide skills fit for current and future jobs, ensure sustainability and improve retention.

     

    The Mayor of West Yorkshire has set up the Manufacturing Task Force for the region. The Task Force (which is a business led voice) will be developing proposals aimed at helping manufacturing businesses respond to sectoral challenges such as increasing productivity levels, increasing the number of manufacturing businesses engaged in innovation and meeting the net-zero carbon target of 2038. Industry 4.0 skills (those associated linked with automation and artificial intelligence) will be considered as part of the work of the Task Force. In addition to this, the Combined Authority is also involved in an EU regional policy brokerage programme (see here), sharing best practice and learning on programmes and initiatives designed to help small to medium enterprises (SMEs) adopt industry 4.0 practices. The Combined Authority will need to develop an action plan to implement some of the learning as part of the programme requirements

     

    Question 2.

     

    Too many people in West Yorkshire have low/no qualifications, making it difficult for them to access good work. Supporting people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to gain the skills they need for employment is a key priority for the Mayor. There is also an economic argument, with businesses across sectors experiencing recruitment challenges, and a need to get more people into the labour pool. Through our Employment Hubs, delivered in partnership with the 5 West Yorkshire local authorities, we have supported over 5,000 people into work and training but there is still much more to do. Through the devolved Adult Education Budget, we will support 50,000 people a year to gain the skills they need to access employment.

     

    There is a growing and evolving market for green skills and jobs in West Yorkshire, with jobs changing, new jobs being created, and some jobs eventually no longer playing a role in our economy.

     

    In August 2021, the Mayor of West Yorkshire announced the creation of a West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce, bringing together experts from business, education and training, and the third and public sectors.

     

    The West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce held its first meeting on Monday 24 January. The Taskforce will begin its work by undertaking a review of the current and future landscape for green skills and jobs in West Yorkshire, before collectively setting out a strategic approach underpinned by deliverable actions that will contribute to the greening of the economy through skills and jobs.

     

    This will play a key part in supporting the region’s achievement of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038, and in enabling West Yorkshire’s residents, organisations, and workforce to capitalize on the opportunities that the greening of the economy will bring both now and in the future.

     

    See here for more information: 1000 Green Jobs in West Yorkshire 

     

    Digital Skills will also be critical in future roles, including those required in our move to a greener economy. The Local Digital Skills Partnership has the aspiration to inspire the growth of digital skills across West Yorkshire and to inspire and influence the workforce of the future by collaborating with educators and employers to ensure the future generation have the skills to meet the needs of the economy. More information here: Digital Skills Partnership

     

    Question 3.

     

    There is a growing and evolving market for green skills and jobs in West Yorkshire, with jobs changing, new jobs being created, and some jobs eventually no longer playing a role in our economy.

     

    In August 2021, the Mayor of West Yorkshire announced the creation of a West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce, bringing together experts from business, education and training, and the third and public sectors.

     

    The West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce held its first meeting on Monday 24 January. Over a period of twelve months, the West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce will collectively set out a strategic approach underpinned by deliverable actions that will contribute to the greening of the economy through skills and jobs. The Taskforce will also support the development of the Mayor’s pledge to ‘create 1,000 well paid, skilled, green jobs for young people’, including through advising on the establishment of a Mayoral Green Jobs Gateway.  

     

    This will play a key part in supporting the region’s achievement of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038, and enabling West Yorkshire’s residents, organisations, and workforce to capitalize on the opportunities that the greening of the economy will bring.

     

    The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership have a number of programmes which identify skills needs for the region’s workforce and organisations, and offer retraining or upskilling opportunities for individuals. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Connect programme delivers free training courses for adults looking to gain new skills, including the Adult Education Budget and Skills Connect.


    The West Yorkshire Combined Authority was also recently awarded funding to deliver a Community Retrofit Hub through the UK Community Renewal Fund. As part of this project, training and online resources will be made available to highlight the jobs available in our region and the skills required to access these jobs. More information here: Help for households to improve energy efficiency and save money

     

    The acceleration towards net zero carbon is already driving inward investment across numerous sectors in our City Region. Investors are attracted by our world leading research capability, market opportunity and strength in depth across several key sectors at the heart of climate tech. For example, Leeds City Region is the largest financial centre outside of London, home to the fastest growing financial and legal sectors and recently chosen as the base for the UK Infrastructure Bank, Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority. We have a growing reputation as a global leader in green finance, an ambition enhanced by the new UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment at the University of Leeds.

     

    We will continue to promote our region’s green investment credentials to attract new investment, particularly in areas where we see a clear market opportunity, such as clean energy, sustainable transport solutions and Controlled Environment Agriculture.


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    Why is there so much emphasis and spending given to public transport when the vast majority of residents rely on their own private transportation for commuting, shopping, leisure etc as public transport is not reliable, affordable and often unsuitable timings for a commute?

    NSB asked 11 months ago

    Currently transport emits the most carbon of any key sector in West Yorkshire, with more than 90% of transport emissions coming from cars and vans. Therefore, if we are to adequately respond to the climate emergency and support a green and prosperous future for the region, we must attract people away from private cars and towards more sustainable options for travel such as public transport – which is why such emphasis is place on it in our budget.

     

    We know reducing dependence on private cars will require appropriate transport infrastructure, as well efforts to make the experience of travelling on public transport more attractive. As you suggest, we recognise the region’s existing public transport system does not always meet the standards people expect or even, in some cases, provide a viable option for travel. We actively engage with the travelling public to listen and understand their needs / priorities and use this to inform our work.  As set out in our Connectivity Infrastructure Plan and Bus Service Improvement Plan, ensuring public transport is more affordable, reliable and better suited to people’s changing travel needs is an inherent part of our ambition for West Yorkshire and what we want to invest in.

     

    Increased private car use has resulted in lower ridership on public transport and therefore a need to cut services making the bus less attractive: a vicious circle, meaning that the 40% of West Yorkshire residents without a car are forced to rely on an ever-more a risk service with varying quality standards, However, if ridership starts to grow then costs of provision decrease enabling longer operating times and more routes to be provided, boosting ridership further: a virtuous cycle. When combined with other benefits from reducing private car dominance of our transport network (improved air quality, reduced severance and isolation, enhanced physical and mental health, improved safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, etc.) there is significant merit in investing in a public and active transport network that is fit for purpose and attracts users.

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    Would you plant wild flowers/grass patches on road crossing refuge islands? I feel planting on main roads will give people a more pleasant mobility experience, whilst also getting a little closer to climate targets.

    Kev252 asked 11 months ago

    The planting of wildflowers on verges is something we continue to watch with interest at the Combined Authority. We work closely with our West Yorkshire local authorities to explore the viability of these types of schemes. In particular, there are issues around accessibility (ensuring refuge islands remain large enough for all users to use safely) and costs of implementation compared to maintenance and air quality improvements over the lifetime of the scheme. Where local authorities have planted wildflower meadows (away from the road network) extensive work is required to lower the quality of the soil first so as to enable these species to thrive, and we continue to evaluate the impact of these schemes with interest.

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    Madam Mayor, Your plans for transport are comprehensive and exciting. I would like to raise the question that, in these plans, there is a heavy emphasis on bus reform. For this part of the country, I agree that is necessary. However, a huge part of this problem that I do not see in the budget is tackling the motorist culture we have in West Yorkshire as a result of our poor infrastructure. Can you commit to encourage further pedestrianising of town and city centre areas, increasing small-to-large railway station connectivity and moving car parking spaces further to the city and town outskirts while converting them into business, office and/or community spaces? I believe that these direct challenges to motorist culture will help make our county's cultural and economic hubs more safe, green and pleasant.

    T Roebuck asked 11 months ago

    Currently transport emits the most carbon of any key sector in West Yorkshire, with more than 90% of transport emissions coming from cars and vans. We know that to respond to the climate emergency and create a greener future for the region we need to take action to change the ‘motorist culture’, as you identify it, and encourage more people out of private cars. The Combined Authority believes one of the most effective ways of doing this will be by providing viable alternative ways to travel more sustainably including better trains and buses, as well as walking and cycling routes – and we are investing heavily in projects which aim to do this, such as the continuing investment in the City Connect cycle network and current delivery of the Transforming Cities Fund programme.

     

    As well as investing in sustainable travel infrastructure, we do consider other policies and interventions which could encourage modal shift and reduce dependence on private car travel. This includes reducing and reallocating car parking space, as well as other travel and city planning measures.  For example, we continue to work with a number of district councils on schemes such as active travel neighbourhoods which, through reducing “rat-running” through traffic, enable residential streets to be quieter, safer places for those who live or use them.  We have also funded a range of projects across West Yorkshire which look to enhance local town and community centres through re-allocating roadspace to other uses, such as enhanced marketplaces; the provision of trees, parks and Sustainable Urban Drainage; and to enable children to play more in the street under our “Streets for People” pilot programme. These projects will be going on site in 2022 and we look forward to evaluating their impact on a range of metrics, and this will be used to inform a range of future schemes which look to re-allocate roadspace and provide a more joined up alternative to car use through better integration of bus and rail stations with the communities they serve. 

     

    In doing this, we must recognise that ultimate control for parking and highway related measures rests with West Yorkshire’s local authorities, but we will be continuing to work in partnership with them and other organisations with responsibility for these matters to explore and develop work in this area.

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    We need the new Wellbeing Centre at Fearnville. East Leeds is lacking any new investment and is needing new Business. It is essential for Health and Wellbeing. Also great for environment

    Lynne asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Leeds City Council is developing proposals for a redevelopment of the Fearnville site to deliver a new wellbeing and leisure facility to replace the current outdated facilities.  A bid for Levelling Up Funding was submitted to government in 2021 and whilst this was not successful it is anticipated that a further bid will be submitted in 2022. Leeds City Council are hoping to consult with the general public in February.

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    The Guardian today has an article about insulation. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/jan/14/fund-home-insulation-and-heat-pumps-for-people-on-low-incomes-pm-urged?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other I note that the government response quoted at the end refers to money given to local authorities under the Household Support Fund. Could Council make grants available from this fund for home insulation as the government scheme failed miserably? This would tick your climate change priority box as well as providing long term support rather than giving out £25 fuel bill payments which are not even a short term fix. Done on a WY basis this would be more meaningful.

    Jonathan Gadd asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The Combined Authority and its partners have been working with Government to secure funding to insulate some of the least efficient homes in the region and support households experiencing fuel poverty. Last year local councils secured Green Homes Grant Funding to tackle some of the worst performing homes and we have recently applied to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to improve energy efficiency in social housing. However, we are keenly aware that much more needs to be done, and that retrofitting homes in West Yorkshire represents our best option to ensure energy bills are affordable in the longer term, whilst reducing carbon emissions. The Mayors Climate and Environment Plan aims to ensure support is available for householders to upgrade their homes and we will be working to implement the plan during the course of the year. 


    West Yorkshire Local Authorities have secured Household Support Funding. This will be available as payments to help with essentials such as welfare and support payments for day-to-day costs rather than upgrading homes.

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    Much is being made of "sustainable travel", "future travel", "tackling the climate emergency" and claiming to "Ensure everyone in the region can enjoy a clean, healthy, and inclusive environment". How exactly does the funding of development projects fit into these claims; such as the Bradford Canal Road widening (in order to increase traffic by at least double, so that green space in the Aire and Wharfe valleys can be "unlocked" for development); and awarding Keepmoat homes over £4 million of taxpayers money to destroy habitats and build houses for profit on previously undeveloped urban green fields and woodland in "New" Bolton Woods.

    Dptaylor asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The Combined Authority is involved in a number of different projects across West Yorkshire. We acknowledge that, in some instances, there can be a difficult trade-off between the economic benefit that our investment brings to the region, and ensuring that everyone in the region can enjoy a clean, healthy, and inclusive environment as well as reducing carbon emissions to meet our 2038 net-zero carbon targets. These issues are considered through our assurance processes.


    All the schemes that the Combined Authority funds or part funds are also subject to our Assurance Framework. This means that all projects must go through a number of decision stages that must be approved by the Combined Authority through our Capital Spending and Project Approval reports, which includes a section on the environmental impacts under the Tackling the Climate Emergency section. These are all published as scheme summary business cases, and can be found on our website


    We are currently developing a new Carbon Impact Assessment methodology so that we can further examine the carbon impacts of schemes both in terms of operational carbon, and carbon associated with construction. This is an important step in helping us and our partners to understand more clearly the potential impact of proposals on carbon emissions, both positive and negative, and is expected to be a significant improvement on current methodologies.


    In addition, the majority of schemes on our highway network and regeneration schemes are delivered by our District partners who also hold the planning powers for schemes that require statutory approval. As promoters of these schemes, it is the respective local authority who undertake the detailed design work and assessment of their impacts.

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    I won’t use public transport in Yorkshire because of the taking of transport passes from the over sixties, the raising of the retirement age for women and men was theft, will the decision be looked at again.

    mickyfish60 asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. We understand your frustrations at the retirement age and transport passes.


    The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme determines the criteria for bus passes. This includes passes relating to age and disability criteria. 


    We do have some power to introduce extra concessions for passes provided in West Yorkshire. But this is something we would have to reimburse operators for, and central government do not provide any extra funding to cover the costs. 


    We do regularly review our concessionary travel scheme and the possible enhancements we could introduce. But at the moment, there are no plans to introduce a 60+ free travel pass.

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    Where can I see a copy of the Authority’s Investment Strategy? What I am looking for is the Authority’s response to paragraph 18 of “Statutory Guidance on Local Government Investments” (3rd Edition) as issued under section 15(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 2003 and effective for financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2018.

    Preacherman Paul asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 


    Our Investment Strategy was last discussed at West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting on 24th June 2021.


    You can find the agenda papers online or through this link - West Yorkshire Combined Authority papers


    You will find the Investment Strategy on pages 521 - 527.  

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    How much of the budget has been spent on propaganda, such as composing and promoting this "Combined Authority Budget 2022/2023" webpage?

    Dptaylor asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The cost for this engagement opportunity has been kept to a minimum as we were able to do the majority of the work in-house through our design team and consultation and engagement team. We had support with the video, which was procured through our strict guidelines, and was deemed value for money as it allowed us to share our budget plans with the people of West Yorkshire. However, everything else was done by staff members at the Combined Authority to save costs. 


Page last updated: 27 Jan 2022, 08:41 AM