Lib Dem candidate steps into the Wolves
Beverley Nielsen will be the latest Mayoral candidate to publish her manifesto today when she addresses the regional Lib Dem Conference in Wolverhampton.
Ms Nielsen will call for “radical change” to restore the region, urging voters to “sweep aside the outdated two-party system and embrace her agenda of radical change.”
Ms Nielsen is expected to say:
We stand at a moment of transformation, as the developed world embraces new technologies and new ways of living and working are rapidly evolved.
To take advantage of these changes, we must invest now to become the self-made place, remember our long and proud industrial heritage, but look to the future. We must also invest in our small and medium-sized businesses, in our people and in our communities, and deliver shared growth across the region.
Brexit brings great risks to our future, but I will strengthen our links with Europe and the rest of the world, promoting the best deals for our manufacturing heartland within the Single Market, and making the West Midlands the place to do business, in a modern, welcoming and cohesive society.
Nielsen’s manifesto focuses on seven priority areas:
- improving opportunities for people of all ages,
- delivering homes for those on all incomes,
- tackling congestion,
- growing ‘home-made’ businesses,
- enhancing the region’s natural assets,
- creating safe and secure communities, and
- delivering fairer public services.
The Lib Dem candidate continued:
We also can’t pretend that it’s possible to deliver all the new homes which this region desperately needs, without the careful use of some Green Belt land, as well as using brownfield sites. Failing to address the Green Belt issue because of party politics would be failing our citizens.
However, I am also determined to tackle the less obvious challenges, such as the consistent under-funding of this region by successive Labour and Tory governments, and the need to ensure that the benefits of growth are shared right across our communities – and right across this region.
For far too long, it’s been accepted that some areas are ‘better-off’ than others, as if it’s something which can’t change, but I refuse to accept that Victorian mindset. We must focus on long-term planning, we must be bold and ambitious, and we must also make the public sector engage much better with the private sector.
Ms Nielsen’s proposals include a £1bn Innovation Fund to back business start-ups, a Chamber for Business Growth to create clusters of craft-led firms and mid-tech ventures, a ‘media city’ based at the NEC to rival Manchester’s Salford, and a regional assembly allowing the public voice to be more easily heard.
According to her official press release, her most “radical suggestion of all though was an appeal to everyone voting on May 4th to consider a new approach to politics.”
For 30 years, Tory and Labour governments have let down the same areas of our region, time after time, and we have no reason to expect anything different now.
The current government has cut services to the bone, and is now cutting £4bn more between now and 2020. If you make me the Liberal Democrat Mayor of the West Midlands, I will be your champion for change, and a unifying voice across the political divide which has existed for far too long.
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