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The West Midlands Mayor

In the run up to the West Midlands Mayor election on the 4th May, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce are working closely with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to promote a pro-business agenda and raise awareness of the elections amongst our membership.


What is the West Midlands Mayor?

On the 4th May, voters in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton will head to the polls to elect the first ever West Midlands Mayor. This individual has the opportunity to become a powerful champion for the region.

Their official powers and other responsibilities are as follows:

  • Transport: some funding to invest and responsibilities for the key roads network, bus franchising and smart ticketing.
  • Skills: responsibility for a devolved Adult Skills budget.
  • Housing: Compulsory purchase powers
  • Leading: Chairing of the West Midlands Combined Authority and helping shape its overall strategy, priorities and spending click here for more information on the WMCA).
  • Representing: Taking a leading role in negotiating with Government on behalf of the region and representing the region on the local, national and international stage.

As this is the first time anyone has been elected to the role, the successful candidate will have a huge role to play in establishing it and their office and how they interact with the region, businesses and stakeholders.

Who are the candidates?

There are six candidates in the running to become West Midlands Mayor. We have challenged the candidates to share their message for the business community:

Andy Street

Conservative

Beverley Neilsen

Liberal Democrats

James Burn

Green Party

Pete Durnell

UKIP

 
Siôn Simon

Labour

Graham Stevenson

Communist Party

 

Candidates who have not yet submitted content or who would like to provide new or additional content are very welcome to contact the GBCC on policy@birmingham-chamber.com. You can find out more about the candidates via West Mids Elects: click here.

Why does this election matter?

The potential impact of a Mayor for the West Midlands extends beyond official functions, responsibilities and processes – it’s about the power to represent and the clout to bring people together. The Mayor will have the mandate to bang the drum and seek to negotiate greater funding, investment and opportunities for the region. They will have the profile to bring together local stakeholders and institutions to collectively tackle the big issues of the day. As it is a new role, the first Mayor will have a pivotal role to play in establishing the office and how they work with businesses, communities and stakeholders.

How can I get involved?

The GBCC are working hard to raise awareness of this election and create opportunities for members to hear from and engage with candidates.

1) Help spread the word using the Employer Toolkit

This election is your chance to have your say on who will be our region's champion. However, as this is a new role, there are still a lot of potential voters in the region who don't know that this election is taking place. That is why we have launched this new toolkit for employers:

The West Midlands Mayor: Your Toolkit contains a range of easy to use content, images, posters and ideas for how businesses can raise awareness of the election among their staff. It also includes a simple Q&A on common questions about the West Midlands Mayor. It is entirely non-partisan and is aimed at raising awareness of and turnout during the election.

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce has almost 2,700 members employing over 175,000 people. Together, we could make a mighty impact on awareness of and participation in this election. Take a look, download the toolkit today and take part today.

2) Join the debate

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce are a Principal Partner in West Mids Elects. Together we are a coalition of organisations looking to raise awareness of and engagement with the West Midlands Mayor election.

On Sunday the 23rd April, 4:30pm at the Vox we will be delivering a final, high profile debate featuring the major candidates for West Midlands Mayor. If you are a Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce member, click here for more information and to register your interest in attending this event.

3) Take up the Challenge

From the 21st April we will be issuing a “Challenge of the Day”, every other day to followers of our main twitter account. These simple challenges will help our followers boost their knowledge about the election and spread the word to friends, family and colleagues. Follow us on @grbhamchambers and use the hashtag #OurWMM to take part.

4) Vote

If you live and are registered to vote in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall or Wolverhampton, remember to be part of history and vote for our region’s first Mayor on the 4th May.

How are the Chambers representing my business?

Throughout the election we have been working hard to promote a pro-business agenda. We have produced Business Priorities 2017: Vision for a West Midlands Mayor in partnership with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to champion the views of businesses.

Candidate endorsements:

  • Andy Street, Conservative Candidate: click here
  • Sion Simon, Labour Candidate: click here
  • Pete Durnell, UKIP Candidate: click here

What else do I need to know?

  • The election for the West Midlands Mayor will use a supplementary voting system. This means that you will be able to select two candidates on your ballot paper: one first choice, and one second choice. For more information click here.
  • The deadline for registering to vote (if you are not registered already) is the 13th April. If you will not be in the region on the day you can apply for a postal vote. Applications for postal votes must have been received by the 18th April. For more information click here.
  • Polls are open on the 4th May from 7am to 10pm.

For more information:

  • Read our briefing paper no the West Midlands Combined Authority here.
  • Visit the West Mids Elects website here.
  • Visit the West Midlands Combined Authority’s website here.
  • Visit the Government’s Our Mayor. Your Vote. campaign website here.