Last Thursday, residents across Bristol, Bath & the West of England had their say on who they want to lead on delivering transport, new homes and jobs; and they elected Tim Bowles as the very first Metro Mayor who will chair the new West of England Combined Authority.
Overshadowed in the last two weeks by a surprise calling of a general election, too many voters seemed largely unaware of the importance and significance of this evolution to devolution.
With his experience in both business and local government, Tim now has the chance to make a success of this new city region governance, working with the councils together with business, universities and other key partners.
On behalf of our members, Business West published a 10 point Business Manifesto & Challenge which we put to all of the mayoral candidates. This clearly set out the key priorities we know need to be addressed and we will use this as the basis of our ongoing engagement and to measure success.
In the face of stiff competition, we warmly congratulate Tim on being elected and look forward to working with him over the coming weeks, months and years as devolution in the West of England opens up a new chapter - and above all delivers. Like all the other major UK cities with newly elected Metro Mayors, we want and need this new approach to add value and to be successful.