City-REDI sponsored an event hosted by Insider last week which brought together the mayoral candidates for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for a debate ahead of the election on May 4th. City-REDI’s Prof. Simon Collinson was there to bring the session to a close, providing a number of key reflections that came out of the debate.
The event gave candidates the opportunity to voice their manifestos and debate the key issues facing the region. It was also a chance for members of the audience to question the candidates’ visions and intentions and, should they be elected, their plans for delivery once in post. Whilst each expressing their own personal aspirations for the region, it was great to see the candidates focusing on what unites them rather than what differentiates them – especially when speaking of the key issues facing the WMCA in relation to productivity, skills and housing. There was also a collective sense that the WMCA is well placed for growth in the future, but that action needs to be taking to ensure that this growth is inclusive of everyone in the region.
For further details of the debate and what was discussed please see here.
Post May 4th the candidate who is elected as Mayor will have a significant impact on the future of the WMCA, representing the area and its interests and directing an investment fund in excess of £1bn over the next 30 years. It is therefore vital that we get involved in the debate now and – most importantly – cast our vote on May 4th for the candidate who we think can do the best job for the region.