The West Midlands Mayoral Election

In May 2021, voters across Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, Coventry, Solihull and Wolverhampton will once again head to the polls to elect the region’s Mayor and Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

As the largest and most influential business group in the region, the Chambers of Commerce will aim to partner with the main candidates to ensure that the views and interests of the business community are clearly reflected in the individual candidates’ policy programmes.

At the same time, we will aim to raise awareness of the elections amongst our members and encourage them to exercise their democratic right.

Representing Businesses

Throughout the election, we have been working hard to promote a pro-business agenda. We have produced Rebounding for Business: 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.

“Business Priorities 2021 - Rebounding for business: Vision for the West Midlands Mayor”

View Manifesto Here

Key topics include:

  • Leading the region from pandemic survival to economic revival
  • Developing a transport network fit for the 21st century
  • Helping businesses adapt to the post-Brexit landscape
  • Tackling skills gaps in the region

Meet the candidates

We have challenged the candidates for West Midlands Mayor to share their message for the business community:

Andy Street, Conservative

“As someone who spent decades in business before entering politics, I fully understand the challenges you now face. By continuing to win huge investment, adopting new technology, reshaping our transport network and supporting our high-streets, I want to use my experience to drive the recovery for West Midlands business.”

Jenny Wilkinson, Liberal Democrat

“Small and medium-sized businesses across our region have been devastated by the pandemic and let down by the government. The Liberal Democrats are calling for a German-style furlough for small businesses scheme, compensating them for lost revenue and, as Mayor, I would support growth and innovation by ensuring access to capital.”

Liam Byrne, Labour

“My ambition as mayor of the West Midlands is for the region to lead the green industrial revolution. Our green future will create high-skilled jobs to meet the global demand for environmental friendly energy, transport and manufacturing. This will be good for business, and our young people.”

Steve Caudwell, Green Party

“The climate emergency is the defining challenge of our time, and the Combined Authority’s 2041 target for carbon neutrality is much too late. As a Green mayor I’ll bring businesses, politics and people together to focus on delivering a West Midlands that works – for people today, and for future generations.”

Pete Durnell, Reform Party

I believe in a low tax, high growth economy. Rapid growth is the only sustainable route to higher wages and increased tax revenues, enabling the provision of improved healthcare and public services.
Reform UK would free six million people from income tax and 1.2 million small businesses/self-employed from corporation tax.

You can find more details on the main candidates’ business agenda in our April edition of Chamberlink – click here to access (please note, the candidate list has subsequently been updated since the original article was written)

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

You can find out more about the candidates via West Mids Elects: click here

What can the business community expect from a West Midlands Mayor?

On 7th April, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in partnership with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce hosted an event with two of the candidates bidding to become West Midlands Mayor – Andy Street and Liam Byrne.

The event was sponsored by Aston University, Crowe UK and Intercity Technology. Both candidates responded to the specifics asks we set out in our Manifesto whilst also sharing their vision for the future and setting out the pro-business agenda they intend to pursue over the next four years.

Click Here To Watch The Event

Click below to view Liam’s message for the business community:

View Here

Click below to view Andy's message for the business community:

View Here


What’s at stake in this election?

Henrietta Brealey, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce was recently joined by Andrew Carter, CEO of Centre for Cities for a podcast to discuss the powers which are bestowed on the West Midlands Mayor and how that compares to other parts of the country

Listen to the below podcast:

For more information:

Visit the West Mids Elects website here

Visit the West Midlands Combined Authority’s website here