The latest from the Black Country 

Conservative Candidate Revealed for Mayor Election

John Lewis chief Andy Street will stand as the Conservative candidate in next year’s West Midlands Mayoral election. Mr Street announced his resignation as chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership after applying to be the Conservative candidate.

The mayoral election will take place on 4 May, 2017, with Mr Street coming up against Labour candidate Sion Simon and Birmingham City University director Beverley Nielsen, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats.

Corin Crane, Black Country Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, commented: "With the Mayoral candidates now announced, we are looking forward to meeting with them to discuss how they can support businesses in the West Midlands. The business community is key to the success of the region and this needs to be highlighted in their campaigns.

"We are working closely with Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Coventry Chamber of Commerce to come together as the voice of business. This is a West Midlands agenda so it is key to work cohesively to support our businesses.

"We are proud of our region and the fantastic businesses located here, we want the candidates to show the same passion for the area and understand the policies they will need in place to support business growth, and also the fiscal powers they will need to deliver this growth. This will include the skills, transport and economic agendas."

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive, Paul Faulkner, said: “We now know who the candidates for three of the major parties are. The announcement of Andy Street as the Conservative Party candidate, though long expected, means the run up to the Mayoral elections can now begin in earnest.

“We want to see all candidates championing the region’s business community and working towards creating the conditions enterprise needs to flourish. We are joining forces with Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and Black Country Chamber of Commerce to act as a united business voice throughout the campaign.

“Together, will be engaging candidates and delivering a coordinated programme of events across the region. Our first challenge to the candidates is for them to set out their policies in relation to business and the economy, including skills and transport and infrastructure.

“Seven months is a long time for any campaign but, with a population of four million people, the candidates have a big job on their hands getting their message through to the heart of communities in the West Midlands. We hope to see the candidates making our region proud in the run up to the election and representing the very best of the West Midlands.”

Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We welcome the debate on who should become the mayor for the region.

"We need a mayor for business, a mayor that recognises that growth businesses, international businesses and inward investment is the route to job and wealth creation for the prosperity of everyone in the region.”

Last modified on Monday, 03 October 2016 14:07

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