Nail-biting finish at West Midlands Mayoral elections - The Solihull Observer

Nail-biting finish at West Midlands Mayoral elections

Solihull Editorial 9th May, 2024   0

LABOUR’S Richard Parker has been elected West Midlands Mayor in dramatic fashion.

He was declared winner of the Mayoral election following the count at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham on Saturday (May 4).

The day saw six out of the seven local authorities carry out vote checks and a full recount was ordered in Coventry.

However, it was announced that Mr Parker secured victory over Conservative candidate, Andy Street, by 1,508 votes.

Mr Street had served two terms as Mayor.

Following the declaration, Mr Parker said: “What a privilege it is to lead the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

“I’m looking forward to getting to work, delivering my policies and my pledges and being a voice for the West Midlands nationally and internationally.

“This is the honour of my lifetime and I won’t let you down.”

Mr Parker, who runs his own small business and is a qualified public finance accountant, will serve as Mayor for the next four years and as chair of the WMCA and its cabinet of the seven metropolitan West Midlands council leaders.

A total of 596,976 votes were counted. The turnout was 29.8 per cent.

Having a West Midlands Mayor is a key part of the devolution deal struck between the WMCA and Government in 2016, giving the region and its elected politicians greater powers and control over how and where funding should be spent.

Mr Parker will have responsibility for some of the biggest issues affecting the lives of around 2.8m people in the region including transport, regeneration and improving jobs and skills across the region.

Following the announcement Mr Street posted on Facebook: “Absolutely gutted to be so near, yet so far.

“It has been my honour to serve citizens in the WM for the last seven years, and I hope I have done it with dignity and integrity.

“I am proud of what we have achieved together and I hope my successor can build upon it.”

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