Issue details

West Midlands Rail Ltd (WMRL) - Governance Evolution

Staffordshire County Council has been an active member of West Midlands Rail Ltd (WMRL) since its establishment and has enabled the County Council to have greater local influence and involvement over local rail services including the specification and ongoing management of the West Midlands Rail Franchise. WMRL and trading as West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has developed a strong reputation and has been effective at promoting and delivering change and investment in the region’s rail network. However, there is a desire for WMRL to evolve its existing governance arrangements and strengthen its relationship with the Mayor of the West Midlands. This will help to increase its ability to achieve its policy aims and continue to deliver local leadership for local rail services by working with the rail industry to deliver a step change in rail services across the WMRL geography. The proposed amendments include: • Changes to the Articles of Association, which in summary permit for the Mayor of the West Midlands to become a non-Director, non-voting Chair of WMRL, and also for the creation of two new Vice Chair roles. • The delegation of the powers described in 3.1(i) of the WMRL Articles of Association to the Mayor as Chair of WMRL. This is a wide power that will enable the Mayor as Chair to represent and publicise WMRL through lobbying and related activities and survey to advance WMRL’s purpose. As required under the Articles of Association any such changes can only be amended by a Special Resolution of the Members eligible to vote. Under the provisions of the Articles, these Members are defined as the Local Transport Authorities (LTAs). This means the seven Shire and Unitary authorities (Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Northamptonshire) and the West Midlands Combined Authority. Following an approval in principle by the WMRL Board of Directors on 15th September 2020 to the proposed changes to the Articles, it is now necessary for these governance changes to be taken through the individual governance requirements of each of the respective Members as defined above. For Staffordshire County Council to secure approval to cast its vote in favour of the special resolution required under the WMRL Articles of Association to enable the authorisation of the proposed changes to their governance (scheduled to be taken on 19th January 2021 at a special meeting of the Board), a decision is required to be made by Staffordshire County Council Cabinet no later than end of December 2020.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Not a key decision but required to go to Cabinet;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Divisions affected: (All Divisions);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 13/10/2020

Decision due: 16/12/20 by Cabinet

Lead member: Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills

Lead director: Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills

Department: Economy, Infrastructure and Skills

Contact: Clive Thomson Email: Tel: 01785 276522.



Public or Private Decision: Public

Service Area: Sustainable and Connected County


Agenda items


  • West Midlands Rail Ltd (WMRL) - Governance Evolution