A PLAN to devolve powers from Westminster to Kirklees has been welcomed by councillors.

Kirklees Council cabinet yesterday agreed to press ahead with the Leeds City Deal.

The deal will see the Government allow 11 Yorkshire councils to work together to decide where to spend their cash.

A key element of the move is the creation of a £1bn transport fund to improve the region’s creaking infrastructure.

This includes routes into Huddersfield, Halifax and Brighouse from the M62 and improvements at Cooper Bridge and along the A62 Leeds Road and the A653 from Beeston to Dewsbury.

Kirklees Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan praised the coalition Government’s fast-tracking of the plan.

The Labour man said: “This Government has made more progress on devolving cities’ powers in the last two years than the previous Governments since the war.

“It’s very welcome. I think we are many years ahead of other councils and we do need to take maximum advantage of these added powers.”

Clr Peter McBride added: “It’s an important opportunity for us.

“Huge powers are being delegated to us to take responsibility from strategic planning of transportation to skills, jobs and other types of investment.

“We’re absolutely dependent on that to fund our major aspirations in the Local Development Framework.”