West Midlands Mayor Election: Street proud of seven years working for ‘home town’ - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands Mayor Election: Street proud of seven years working for ‘home town’

Solihull Editorial 17th Apr, 2024   0

I grew up in Solihull, and it has always been a special place to me.

That’s why I understand how important it is to residents that the town centre prospers. There is now a coherent vision for Solihull’s town centre, and I am committed to working with the borough council to deliver this.

On the economy, I have pledged to create 425,000 new jobs and training opportunities over the next four years, including 300,000 free training places. This ambitious target is achievable, particularly given the success of sectors like tech. Solihull’s JLR will play an important part in this, as will Futurefest, the new global tech festival I will launch.

On the Greenbelt, I will double down on ‘Brownfield First’ building, encouraging developers to target derelict sites across the region instead of open spaces. There are also opportunities to create quality jobs in the green economy, in areas such as retrofitting old homes– as has already begun in Solihull.

Our region is the only one set to hit its house building targets and we have identified ways of using new powers to ensure we continue to build the homes we need, in the right places. I have also announced a plan to triple social housing, using £400million from the Government.

On transport, I will continue to invest in our trams, buses and trains, while ensuring fares remain low. This includes a pledge to develop fare-capping, with passengers able to travel by Bus, Rail and Metro seamlessly by simply tapping in and out with their Swift card.

And I will continue to press on with my 2040 Transport Plan, creating a world-class network for the region. Spending on transport has increased ten-fold since I became Mayor. Priorities will include extending the Metro to Solihull and building the case for a new railway station at Castle Bromwich.

Elsewhere, I will back Warwick University’s exciting plans to open a site at Arden Cross.

I am also determined to use the success of the Commonwealth Games to attract more sports events to the region – we are already funding two high-tech ‘esports’ tournaments in Solihull.

And, importantly, I will again not be introducing a precept to pay for the Mayor’s office. There will be no Mayoral tax from me.

As I stand for re-election, I hope the work I have done over the last seven years shows that I deliver on what I say I am going to do.

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