IMPROVING the local transport system, building more homes, providing more opportunities for young people and bringing 100,000 new jobs are among Conservative West Midland Mayor candidate Andy Street’s priorities in his newly-released manifesto.
Others include securing more investment from central government and championing the whole of the region – not just Birmingham.
Mr Street vowed – as the West Midlands gets ready to showcase itself during Coventry’s UK City of Culture year and Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games in 2022 – the hard work he has been doing would continue.
“Over the last four years, we had started to see the West Midlands reclaim its rightful place as a thriving and economically successful region.
“But the region has been particularly hard hit by the Covid pandemic, and there is much more to do to make sure that we don’t throw away those years of progress.
“On May 4, 2017, I was honoured to be elected as the first Mayor of the West Midlands, representing around 3million people across Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and the Black Country.
“The job of the Mayor is to tackle the local issues which affect people in the region.”
He said the best way forward for the region was to take a business-like practical approach to improving people’s lives, bring people together to get things done, regardless of politics, and put the whole of the West Midlands first – persuading the Government to change its view when necessary.
He mapped out his plans under the following six priorities –
● Sorting out the local transport system
● Building more homes in the region
● Providing young people with the skills they need to get a good career
● Bringing in new jobs and businesses
● Securing more investment from Government and beyond
● Championing the West Midlands at every opportunity
Mr Street added: “It’s a big job, with responsibility for overseeing billions of pounds of investment, and the ability to attract billions more.
“I have taken the skills that I learnt in business, during my 30-year career at John Lewis, and applied them to the job of Mayor.
“My approach has been to work hard every day to benefit the region where I grew up and which is my home.
“At this election we have a critical choice – do we accelerate the progress of the last four years, or do we go back to the old failing approach which let down our region for decades?
“I have worked tirelessly over the last four years to get the West Midlands moving in a positive direction after decades of decline.
“If I am re-elected, the first thing I will do when I get back in my office is call the Prime Minister’s office, and begin the process to win the investment needed to start delivering my renewal plan for the West Midlands.”
One of his priorities for Coventry will be to secure the much-needed gigafactory.
On that Mr Street added: “We have already come a long way – persuading the Government to put money on the table and have the backing of Coventry City Council.
“I was the one banging on the Prime Minister’s door when he was re-elected.
“Now we need funding from the private sector and they are going to want to see the customers who will use it – JLR is probably the main one but there are plenty of others and we need to prove that to get the cash in place.”
Click here to see the manifesto in summary.
Click here to read the full version.