Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore has described neighbouring Solihull as the major logjam towards a coherent combined authority for the West Midlands.
At a time when the Government, through the Kerslake review, has insisted Birmingham presses ahead with the region-wide agreement, the Labour council chief said that Tory-run Solihull was slowing things down.
He told the Governance scrutiny committee, which was quizzing him over the response to the damning Kerslake Review, that the four Black Country authorities and Birmingham were keen to press on.
Sir Albert said: "The combined authority issue is a very fluid one. We will take forward quite quickly what we can, but there are aspects from we would not wish to depart.
"The logjam is Solihull. Solihull does not wish to take an early decision on this."
He said that Sir Bob's Kerslake view that a combined authority of just Birmingham and Black Country was impractical.
"A combined authority which does not include Solihull would not be effective because they are part of the West Midlands economic geography, the travel to work area," he added.
He added that only with Solihull, and some of the shire members of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area, would a combined authority make sense.