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Street takes to the Road

Street takes to the Road

🕔06.Jan 2017

Andy Street, Conservative candidate for Mayor of the West Midlands, is to take his campaign “to the people” for four months ahead of the 4th May vote.

The “Street on the Road” roadshow will see a “string” of public meetings held across the region to “boost understanding of the Mayoral role”. The events will begin later this month.

The roadshow will start with events in Halesowen and Solihull with more to be announced covering each borough in the region.

Chamberlain Files understands that audiences will not be vetted by the Street campaign or Conservative Party and that all comers will be actively encouraged.

Mr Street clearly believes that his presentation and communication skills are a big asset in his campaign. He relishes, it would seem, the chance to engage with voters, including those who are not usually inclined to vote Conservative.

Andy Street said:

The elected Mayor will have powers over transport, skills, jobs and housing and be responsible for representing the West Midlands nationally and internationally, in a similar manner to the Mayor of London.

It is therefore a great opportunity for us all. We need to seize the moment, because the West Midlands matters.

But the public’s view of career politicians is at an all-time low, not helped by politicians being distant and often out of touch.

This is why I want to bring the mayoralty to each area in a new form of accessible politics.

In a way, however, it’s about going back to some of the old-fashioned principles – the ‘town hall’ approach of our predecessors and even of the American founders.

After working in retail all my life, I appreciate how leaders have to know what customers want. It should be similar between political leaders and the voters.

This is why I am literally taking this campaign on the road. I will tour the region tirelessly, listening, explaining and laying out my plans.

Anybody is welcome to attend and put me on the spot with questions – the more probing the better.

I will be here, in the West Midlands, meeting as many people as possible, hearing their views, ideas and their aspirations. I’m relishing this.

This ‘new politics’ will continue after May – I will continue to be accessible and transparent in this way as part of my Mayorship.

Mr Street starts at a disadvantage in the campaign – not only with around a 5% voting gap based on the 2015 parliamentary vote, but because the Labour party has better data and campaigning infrastructure in the region.

Labour candidate Siôn Simon MEP has a strong political campaigning operation, masterminded by Caroline Bradley and benefiting from input from Liam Byrne MP and former PwC consultant Richard Parker. Mr Street has, famously, given up his role as Managing Director of John Lewis to campaign full time for Mayor, while Mr Simon has European Parliamentary duties in Brussels and Strasbourg for part of most weeks.

Beverley Nielsen, the Liberal Democrat candidate, continues to criss-cross the region in her campaign. The other confirmed candidate so far is Cllr James Burn for the Greens. He continues to lead the Opposition Group on Solihull Council. Chamberlain Files is expecting UKIP to officially confirm Pete Durnell as its candidate shortly.

Some debates have already taken place involving some or all of the candidates with more events anticipated during the course of the campaign.

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