THE GREEN Party candidate for West Midlands metro mayor has pledged to donate 75 per cent of his mayoral salary to charity.
James Burn has promised to donate the majority of his salary to charity if voters chose him in May’s elections.
Mr Burn, who is also leader of the Solihull Green Party and ward councillor for Chelmsley Wood, said he would donate his salary to help start-up businesses in some of the poorest areas and also to Midlands charities which are tackling important issues including homelessess and loneliness.
He said: “I am very concerned by the growing gap between the richest and everyone else in the West Midlands.
“I do not agree that the mayor should automatically demand the salary of a big business boss.
“Executive pay has got completely out of control and is not justifiable.
“Most families in poverty are working, so something is clearly grossly wrong and the mayor needs to lead by example.”
“A mayor can only represent the people by living like them and with them, to understands their concerns.”
The exact salary the mayor will be paid is still unconfirmed, but is expected to be somewhere between £100,000 and £140,000 per year.
But Coun Burn has said he will only accept a salary equal to the average pay of a full-time worker in the West Midlands – roughly £29,000.
Though he has noted that that figure is still much more than many people in the West Midlands live on.
He added: “As mayor I want to support voluntary organisations who make a massive difference to some of the least well-off and most vulnerable, such as in Dudley where Age UK have had to close their activity centre for the elderly, and Coventry Comfort Carers who do an incredible job helping homeless people.”
Mr Burn was elected Green Party councillor for Chelmsley Wood with more than 52 per cent of the vote.
As a qualified social worker, he has lived in the West West Midlands for more than 15 years and has worked across much of the region in the private, public and voluntary sectors.
Residents of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Woverhampton – the seven constituent members of the newly formed West Midlands Combined Authority ‘super council’ – will go to the polling station in May to elect the region’s first metro mayor.