WHAT WE DO can be much better - quotes from https://www.wmca.org.uk/
THE TOP, THE FIRST AND FOREMOST EXPENDITURE BY WMCA is transport!
"Combined Authorities exist to grow economies in their regions. They invest in things like transport, skills and well-being. West Midlands Combined Authority was created to deliver an ambitious plan to drive inclusive economic growth in the region." Growth = Greed and taking from future generations.
MY BLUE ANSWERS: The local councillors are subsumed, assimilated into the CA to do its bidding without question. No checks or challenges or a murmur of disapproval from a single one.
TOP TO DO IS TRANSPORT!! To spend our taxes on replacing and duplicating first train services and then bus routes with the second most extravagant transport mode to construct after High Scam 2. Even more expensive per Km than most maglev projects in China, Japan and South Korea.
WHAT THEY DO:"Our goal is to create a world-class transport system. To achieve this, we're investing £5 billion across nearly 200 transport projects between now and 2026."
"Together we’re building £1.3 billion of new tram extensions in the West Midlands."
At the top of the WMCA top to do list is continuing with the rebuilding of the tram network instead of addressing the more urgent transport problems of congestion and air pollution by having as the top priority increasing bus use at the expense of car use. And, putting trains and stations back instead of trams!
THREE SUGGESTIONS instead of panel lottery:
Next on the CA to do list must be on insisting that elected councillors decide policy and ensure that its the elected political party's manifestos that is implemented and not the officers' ideas.
The Climate Coalition's Nine Action Points must be discussed, debated and voted on by CA councillors.
A public forum item at the beginning of every committee agenda must be allowed and encouraged instead of the undemocratic lottery of a Citizen's Panel making decisions. I believe, only Dudley Council has a public forum item on agendas of some committee meetings. Open government and good governance is crying out for it - if active citizens would only use it.