Place matters: The West of England Mayoral Election

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Having voted to proceed with a devolution deal and following the making of the West of England Combined Authority Order in February 2017, residents of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) and South Gloucestershire Councils will next vote for a new “Metro Mayor”. With the recent announcement of a general election on 8 June, it is unclear what the implications will be for the mayoral elections, which are currently scheduled for 4 May. Local issues may be overtaken by a general election which is likely to revolve around the issue of Brexit.

Irrespective of the issues which will dominate the general election, the mandate that elected city region mayors will hold will concern local matters. These are things such as housing, planning and transport that affect people’s daily lives and the success of businesses. In light of this it is important to understand where each of the candidates stands on these matters and what needs to be done to ensure the future prosperity of the West of England.     

The new (Metro) Mayor will join the existing Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, and the leaders of the other Combined Authority members (Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council) as the four Members of the West of England Authority.

The participating Authorities are characterised into the traditional two political corners: B&NES and South Gloucestershire being Conservative led and controlled and Bristol with a Labour Mayor and a Labour group that holds the largest number of seats (but without an overall majority). The electorate across the three Local Authority areas is then split broadly between the two; the population of Bristol City largely mirroring that for the B&NES and South Gloucestershire areas combined.

Against that background and with six candidates standing the outcome is far from predictable.

In this comment we give you the essential facts about the candidates and where they stand on the big issues. We also set out our “planning asks” of the incoming Mayor. Click here to download our full comment.

20 April 2017