Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

Just who or what is the West Midlands Mayor?

by Ian Shires on 10 January, 2018

Third of people unable to name West Midlands mayor.

A survey conducted by the Birmingham Mail has found that 33% of people in the West Midlands could not name the region’s directly-elected mayor, Andy Street, even though 61% were aware one existed.

The study also says it found that 31% supported powers to increase taxes – such as the £8 million budget proposals announced by the Metro Mayor last week – to assist areas including building affordable housing while 37% were opposed. A spokesman for the mayor said: “These results confirm there is still a great deal to do to improve understanding of the role of the Mayor. That’s probably no surprise after just six months, but there is clearly an opportunity to explain how high profile successes like the award of the Commonwealth Games and the investments in transport are linked to the Mayor.”

It’s that last statement which jars most with other elected representatives who have an input into the work of the West Midlands Combined Authority after all politicians from the seven constituent member councils (Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton) have helped to produce the major projects which the Metro Mayor has been seen to be claiming as his own. “Maybe this is a little unfair” said Councillor Ian Shires who is one of the two Vice Chairs of the Combined Authority’s Scrutiny Committee “but that’s the way it comes across”.

Later this month the Combined Authority’s Committee members will be questioning live the metro Mayor on his budget proposals.


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