It’s not long now before the West Midlands gets its first opportunity to vote for a West Midlands Mayor (on May 4 in case you were wondering). It’s a subject that business has been talking about for some time although ironically, business does not get a vote.
As a Council member of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, I am delighted that the Chamber has taken the initiative to ensure that the workforce of the West Midlands know about the election – and encourage them to turn out to vote on the day.
The Chamber’s 2,600 members employ more than 175,000 people – most of whom will be eligible to vote – and the Chamber is doing its bit to boost awareness and understanding of the importance of the election itself.
So it has produced an admirable and well-constructed ‘West Midlands Mayor toolkit’ that is designed to help employers (Chamber members or not) spread the word and encourage as many voters as possible to participate in what the Chamber describes as a “potentially ground breaking election”. And it’s a jolly good toolkit too – newsletter content, posters and social media examples all wrapped up in one package to make it easy for employers of all sizes.
There’s been lots of debate in the past about the need for and the role of a West Midlands Mayor – and the verdict is still out on whether a Mayor for the West Midlands will have the same impact as say, in London.
But one thing is for sure, the electorate has the chance to vote for the candidate of their choice and to give the victor the chance to prove themselves as both an effective champion for the region and a ‘bringer-together’ for one common cause – the improvement of the West Midlands for all.
The one thing we don’t want is a poor turn-out; the new Mayor should have a decent enough mandate to bang the drum for the region and to fight for what the region needs.
And here the Chamber’s toolkit plays its part, by helping employers to publicise the need to get out there and vote. The good news too is that nowhere in the toolkit will you find anything to steer employees as to how they cast their vote. That, as they say, is a matter between the voter and the ballot box.
To view the toolkit, click here.