National political leaders give their support to Metro Mayor candidates

April 28 2017

All attention may now be focused on the General Election, but before that happens voters in Bishopston, Redland and Cotham have the opportunity to vote for a West of England Metro Mayor on May 4.

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All attention may now be focused on the General Election, but before that happens voters in Bishopston, Redland and Cotham have the opportunity to vote for a West of England Metro Mayor on May 4.

National party leaders have been campaigning in force in the region, which stands to gain an extra £900 million to deliver infrastructure across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset over the next 30 years. Transport, housing, economic growth, adult training and skills will all come under the new Metro Mayor authority creating a much-needed coordinated strategy for the whole area. 

Liberal Democrats candidate Stephen Williams was joined by Tim Farron MP, the leader of the party, at the Arnolfini gallery on Bristol’s harbourside on April 18, to launch the party's West of England mayor manifesto and to speak out against plans for a hard Brexit.

Stephen Williams said:“As regional mayor I would stand up for the rights of the EU nationals who live in the West of England. Over 30,000 people work in some of our key industries, such as aerospace, or in the NHS and other public services. In the two hard years ahead of us, while the government negotiates with the EU, our relationships with our closest neighbours will still be the most important, whatever the outcome of the Article 50 discussions.

“People in Bristol and Bath voted decisively to remain in the EU. For all those who want to protect our local economy by staying in the Single Market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, the elections are your chance to say no to the government’s hard Brexit.”

Labour candidate, Lesley Mansell was joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Bristol on April 21.

She said: “I’m delighted Jeremy's come to Bristol to support my campaign. We share a passion for social justice and equality – two messages at the very core of my manifesto.

“The Metro Mayor is a new role and a chance to change the way things are done. It’s an opportunity for us to tackle the inequalities of our housing market, the insecurity of our jobs market and to end the frustrations of our journeys across Bristol.”

An experienced negotiator, the NHS manager’s first priority is to address the region's housing problems.

“I want to see more social and affordable housing being built, focusing on the areas of greatest need. We have already seen in Bristol what can be done when there is the will to build houses. I will work closely with Marvin Rees to replicate Labour’s success in Bristol across the rest of the region,” she said.

The other candidates standing in the West of England Mayoral election are Tim Bowles, Conservative Party; Darren Hall, Green Party; John Savage, Independent and Aaron Foot, UKIP.

Look out for the results in the June Voice, as well as profiles of the General Election candidates.