Be part of history



West Midlands people were today urged to ‘be part of history’ by voting for the region’s first ever elected mayor.

On Thursday May 4th 2017, voters in the West Midlands will decide who that will be.

To take part, people need to be on the electoral register by this Thursday, April 13th.

The mayor will chair the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and lead on delivering the priority agenda outlined in its Strategic Economic Plan.

They will have strategic decision-making powers across the whole region, specifically focusing on wider issues such as transport, regeneration and economic growth.

WMCA interim chief executive, Martin Reeves, is returning officer for the mayoral election.

He said: “It is vitally important for as many people as possible to exercise their power to vote and have a say in the future of the region.

“Our new regional mayor will oversee the continuing transfer of powers from Westminster to the West Midlands – putting decisions that can bring more jobs, more homes and better transport into our own hands.

“I would urge everyone eligible to vote to take that opportunity – and be part of history.”

The combined authority mayor will be elected by voters in the seven constituent WMCA members – Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

This first elected mayor will serve for a three-year term of office, with the next election scheduled for May 2020, then every four years after that.

The role has been introduced as part of the government’s devolution agenda, which allows combined authorities to take on functions over and above those allowed under previous legislation.

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 states that for a combined authority to be given these powers, the region must elect a combined authority mayor.

People already on the register at their current address don't need to take any further action to ensure they can have their say.

Anyone not registered or who has recently moved home and wants to take part in the vote should visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote where they can register online.

This involves confirming date of birth and national insurance number. Alternatively, they should contact their local authority’s elections office.

People needing to update their details, for example if they have changed their name, should also contact their local council.

More information about the role and powers of the mayor and the WMCA, and about the mayoral election is available at: www.wmcaelects.co.uk

The final list of candidates was confirmed last week as:

  • James Burn - Green Party
  • Pete Durnell - UK Independence Party (UKIP)
  • Beverley Anne Nielsen - Liberal Democrats
  • Siôn Llewelyn Simon – Labour and Co-operative Party
  • Graham John Stevenson - Communist
  • Andy Street – The Conservative Party Candidate

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