Since 2017 when Andy Street CBE was elected Mayor of the West Midlands, the face of the region has changed almost to the point of being almost unrecognisable from its former self, proudly boasting the fastest growing economy anywhere outside of London.
From redevelopments across the West Midlands both towards local infrastructure and public transport, to Commonwealth Games related new builds and redevelopments, alongside the completion of projects like the facelift at Symphony Hall, the region has flourished, despite the last few years of uncertainty and downturn during the pandemic.
These redevelopments would not have been possible without the local, national and international investment in the region that Andy Street has been able to secure, including more than £3bn of Government investment to support the local economy with no Mayoral precept added to council tax bills. The level of transport investment this year was seven times higher than in the year before Mr Street became Mayor.
Before the Pandemic struck, the West Midlands enjoyed record-breaking housebuilding, with over 48,000 homes built, nearly doubling the target originally set when Andy Street became Mayor.
“Our region was doing well before COVID struck, with record-breaking numbers of jobs, record house building and the best growth anywhere outside of London,” explained Andy. “Now we need to recapture that success and surpass it.”
Andy also helped to secure both the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Coventry City of Culture for the region, alongside creating over 97,000 new jobs in the three years before the pandemic.
“From the day I was first elected I said I wanted to be a Mayor for the whole of the West Midlands, not only reaching out to the different communities that make up the region, but also recognising that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
“As we begin our recovery, I think those principles of equality and inclusion are even more important now, because it’s vital that all of our communities benefit from investment we attract.”
Looking forward, post-pandemic lockdowns, Andy has already got a strong vision as to what he wants to target. “The West Midlands needs a Mayor who can deliver an ambitious but practical plan, and drive our recovery as we come out of the pandemic - I’ve pledged to create 100,000 new jobs in the first two years and continue to bring billions of pounds of investment in to create new opportunities for local people.”
Andy is also committed to reaching the region’s target of becoming net zero by 2041, using large-scale green programmes to reduce carbon emissions in transport, industry and homes, as well as maintaining the record-breaking house building rates achieved pre-pandemic, especially with his ‘brownfield first’ policy, protecting the green belt.
Polling day is May 6th, so if you’ve not already completed your postal vote, make sure you get to your polling station on the day and ensure that your voice is heard.