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Mayoral manifestos: make your mind up time

Mayoral manifestos: make your mind up time

🕔04.May 2017

It’s time. At some point between 7am and 10pm today, you’ll have to choose. Twice, in fact, if you take full advantage of the Supplementary Vote system.

So here’s our brief and final snapshot of what each of the candidates have in their manifestos.

You may think the manifestos don’t matter too much. You might be voting for the person or the party.

READ: First Mayor, Last Push.

But the manifesto will be the Mayor’s mandate (we’ve heard that word a lot lately), so here are their headline commitments. At the foot of the page, you will also find a very handy short slideshow on the key policy areas from our friends at Centre for Cities.

James Burn, Green Party

Mr Burn promises “no one left behind” in his 64 page blockbuster.

His key commitments include:

  • Appointing a deputy mayor charged with ensuring inclusive growth and that the least well-off areas catch up
  • Replace “growth” as our measure of success with “shared growth” and “wellbeing”
  • Set up a West Midlands Bank to support small businesses that high-street banks won’t
  • Focus resources on building a home-grown economy based on small businesses
  • Champion the living wage
  • Assess the impact of every significant and relevant mayoral decision on reducing the inequalities of outcome that result from socio-economic disadvantage, in line with the socio-economic duty of the Equality Act 2010
  • Help universities and industry to better work together to develop sectors where there’s high demand and we have a competitive edge.
  • Radically transform how the WMCA is run, with more representation and scrutiny.

Pete Durnell, UKIP

No manifesto as such, but Mr Durnell sets out a series of priorities. Here are a few:

  • Provide incentives for investment in innovation, research and development
  • Concentrate WMCA policies on supporting small and medium sized businesses
  • Use the WMCA and Metro Mayor role to help SMEs gain access to the funds they need to expand
  • Prioritise improvements providing greatest benefits to local businesses
  • Provide much more accurate information about planned roadworks/upgrades, and make it readily available to everyone
  • Focus on identifying and refurbishing empty houses
  • Focus on converting empty shops and offices into affordable housing
  • Champion the introduction of greater flexibility in our education system
  • Enable transfer to grammar schools for children between 11 and 13 yrs
  • Ensure Mental Health provision given equal priority and status to Physical
  • Provide help needed to those on streets due to mental illness/drug dependency
  • Ensure WMCA & Metro Mayor activities visible to the public, no secret meetings
  • Ensure honesty, openness & transparency are at the heart of ‘everything WMCA.’

Beverley Nielsen, Liberal Democrats

Ms Nielsen sets out the prospect of “Restoring Our Heart, Winning for the West Midlands.”

She promises to:

  • Champion the West Midlands by investing in and developing our home-grown talent and growing inclusive homemade successes
  • Ensure that everyone can access an affordable and decent homes, living in communities fit for all
  • Fight hard to maintain access to the Single Market and against a hard Brexit
  • Boost our chances of greater success through a cash-notcuts programme for our region and making our voice truly heard in Westminster
  • Get the West Midlands moving through a zero congestion action plan, while encouraging more sustainable forms of transport including a major increase in cycling and helping keep public transport fares costs down
  • Ensure that we live, work or visit in a region that is fair for all, safe and secure, open and tolerant, where everyone can play their part whatever their origin, age, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

READ: Will the Mayoral Election be decided by Supplementary Votes.

Siôn Simon, Labour and Co-operative Party

32 pages and a 10 point plan in Labour’s manifesto as Mr Simon offers: “Let’s take back control of the West Midlands from London.”

His signature policies are:

  • Push the government to nationalise the M6 toll road
  • Cap bus fares at £4.40 for an all-day ticket and freeze this price cap for at least a year
  • Deliver free travel on bus and metro for all aged 16-19 in further education
  • Double the size of our tram system, connecting the region to HS2 and the airport
  • Safeguard the space for a second runway at Birmingham Airport when needed
  • Fight for a fair share of funding, including changing the Barnett Formula
  • Oversee the development of a statutory Regional Spatial Plan which gives structure and direction to the house building programme
  • Ask every public body to pay the West Midlands (real) living wage, becoming an accredited living wage employer, buying only from real living wage suppliers.

Andy Street, The Conservative Party Candidate

The Conservative candidate weighs in with a 48 page ‘Renewal Plan.’

“Andy’s 2020 Aims” are:

  • Your commute in the West Midlands will be quicker, with less traffic, and more punctual and less crowded public transport
  • Zero young people will be unemployed or not in skills training
  • The West Midlands economy will be the fastest growing of any city region in Britain
  • Wages in the West Midlands will be increasing faster than any other city region in Britain
  • We will have built 25,000 new homes in the West Midlands
  • We will see a significant reduction in anti-social behaviour, especially on buses and trains
  • Mental health problems will be decreasing not increasing
  • We will establish the role of Mayor as so important that turnout in the Mayoral Election in 2020 will be 5% higher than in 2017.

Graham Stevenson, Communist

Mr Stevenson offers the “Real Alternative” in his manifesto. His campaign pledges include:

  • Municipal ownership of all public transport
  • Nationalisation of the M6Toll Road for local benefit
  • Fair fares and profits of train & and bus companies
  • New affordable homes for local people
  • Start with a Living Wage of £10 an hour for all
  • Real construction & regeneration projects
  • Proper training and jobs for young people.

You can find all the published manifestos, where available, over at our dedicated site, West Mids Elects.







Our partner Centre for Cities has done a fantastic overview of all the policy commitments across youth and adult skills, transport and infrastructure, business and enterprise, housing and planning, environment and health and social care.

You can find the overview here or see the slideshow below.

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