With an additional £900m in funding secured from central government to be spent over the next 30 years, the future Metro Mayor will play a leading role in the social and economic future of the region, and the West of England Initiative, part of Business West is calling for a bold social and economic vision.
In its devolution manifesto, Business West identifies 10 key asks that the prospective Mayor will need to translate into an integrated plan of action in order to successfully deliver upon the social and economic promise of devolution.
Business West is calling on the Mayor to:
- Develop and implement a plan for inclusive growth - encompassing clear economic, social and environmental objectives
- Create a formal role for the business community to strengthen the region’s plans for growth and prosperity
- Lead the new West of England Combined Authority as a smart communicator who can transcend party interests and unify the local area
- Engage the public and make themselves accountable by setting out a clear timeline for the objectives to be achieved within the first term
- Reduce unemployment and economic inequality by widening participation in education, skills and training
- Drive investment in digital connectivity and infrastructure
- Champion the West of England as one of the best places to live and work nationally and internationally
- Reduce congestion and improve the public transport network throughout the West of England
- Produce an action plan within the first 100 days in office, which sets out a bold strategy to solve the regional housing crisis within a generation
- Secure additional powers and funding from Westminster
James Durie, chief executive of the West of England Initiative, comments:
“Devolution in the West of England is an unprecedented opportunity for the Metro Mayor, whoever he or she may be, to put their stamp on the region for a generation; politically, socially and economically.
“This requires a Mayor who can see past single issue local politics, and who is prepared (if necessary) to broach any party lines in order to set out a bold, ambitious and most importantly joined up long-term plan for the West of England.
“Since the devolution deal was announced back in November, my team and I have interacted with many decision makers and experts, businesses and also some residents, including those from some of the most deprived areas in the city region, to find out what devolution means for them.
“This business manifesto is the culmination of six months of hard work listening to the needs of the fullest spectrum of employers and stakeholders in the West. I believe strongly that it is the most comprehensive and rounded blueprint for seizing this opportunity and delivering smart, sustainable growth through devolution that is also inclusive and fair.“
Read more information on the Business West Metro Mayor manifesto.