Combined Authorities: Good or Evil?

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Conference
2014 Water, Environment & Transport Service Group
Date
11 February 2014
Decision
Carried

Conference notes that over the last four years the Integrated Transport Authorities (ITAs) and Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) have been encouraged to become Combined Authorities. Local councils in transport regions are being impelled by promises from central Government of greater local control and more funding to create these Combined Authorities to administer transport.

Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire have already become Combined Authorities, using different organisational and governance models. Merseyside, the West Midlands, Tyne and Wear and South Yorkshire are at different stages of change.

Up to now creating Combined Authorities has involved TUPE transfers; expansion of the former PTE’s and ITA’s roles to include highways and economic regeneration as well as organisational restructures. The change to governance is said to offer a higher profile to transport issues within local government with the direct involvement of council leaders.

These are very big changes which have already affect hundreds of employees and subcontractors within the transport sector, therefore this conference calls upon the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group Executive to:

Initiate an investigation into the concept of the Combined Authority and compile a report with the help of experts in the transport sector including: the Campaign for Better Transport, Passenger Transport Forum, Passenger Transport Committee and Labour Link with aim of presenting the report to be at next year’s WET Conference

The scope of this investigation on should include:

i) The theory and practice of the Combined Authority.

ii) Comparing and contrasting the different forms of Combined Authorities emerging across England.

iii) The potential opportunities and advantages that the new organisations may offer the travelling public and their employees.

iv) The potential pitfalls and dangers they may precipitate.

v) How the Combined Authorities may develop and evolve in the future.