West Midlands

In May 2017 the West Midlands elected its first metro mayor, Andy Street for the Conservatives. He has control over the whole West Midlands combined authority area and works with existing city leaders to take forward their strategic plan. You can find out more about the new metro mayors on our FAQ page.

The economic and political outlook for West Midlands’ new metro mayor

This page brings together the key facts and figures about the city-region’s economy and asks what local residents see as the top priorities for the new metro mayor.

The economic data for West Midlands

West Midlands consists of the following local authorities: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.

Understanding how the city-region performs on key areas such as productivity and employment helps the new metro mayor to assess what he should prioritise. The table below shows how West Midlands compares to the national average on these indicators.

The city-region has seen a similar rate of growth in population to that of the rest of the country in recent years. It has a slightly smaller business base than average, and a lower employment rate. It has seen stronger wage growth.

The skills level in the city-region are also below the national average, which may help to explain the lower level of productivity the city-region also sees.

2017 West Midlands

Source: All data publicly available. Contact Centre for Cities for full source details.

What are the policy priorities for the West Midlands metro mayor?

We have outlined three policy priorities for the new West Midlands metro mayor to focus on:

Policy priority 1: A quick win

Getting people out of their cars

Read more about this priority

Policy priority 2: A strategic aim

Be the spokesman for the West Midlands internationally

Read more about this priority

Policy priority 3: A longer term vision

Helping people back into work

Read more about this priority

What powers does the West Midlands metro mayor have?

Below is a summary of the powers the new West Midlands metro mayor has.

wm-powers

What was in the West of England metro mayor candidate manifestos?

Click through the slideshare below to find out what the metro mayor candidates  said in their manifestos on key issues such as transport, housing and skills:

West Midlands Metro Mayor Manifestos from Centre for Cities

 

What the voters say about the new metro mayor

In May 2016 Centre for Cities commissioned ComRes to find out what issues the residents of West Midlands think should be top priority for their new metro mayor. These were based on the powers they will enjoy, as well as wider priorities. We also asked whether or not they wanted to see more powers handed down to the metro mayor. Below are some of the main findings.

Local priorities

Three in 10 adults (31 per cent) in the West Midlands think that health care provision should be the most important priority for local politicians. Of the policy areas within the metro mayor’s remit, housing (15 per cent) was the priority.

Which, if any, of the following issues do you think should be the most important priority for politicians in your city at the moment

priorities-for-your-city-first-preference-west-midlands

Source: ComRes. Average first preference of adults across the West Midlands (n=514)

Looking only at the specific powers that the new metro mayor will have, one in five (21 per cent) say that affordable housing should be the top priority. A significant number also think the metro mayor should prioritise infrastructure (19 per cent).

Of the powers that the new metro mayor will have, which of the following issues, if any, do you think should be her/his top priority in their first 100 days?

priorities-for-mayor-west-midlands

Source: ComRes. Average first preference of adults across the West Midlands (n=514)

The metro mayor’s powers

More than half of adults from the West Midlands (53 per cent) agree that the new metro mayor should have greater powers than council leaders.

To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree that the new metro mayor should have greater powers than local council leaders?

mayors-vs-leaders-west-midlands

Source: ComRes. All adults in the West Midlands (n=514). Percentages are rounded.

Awareness of the metro mayor

Two in five adults (39 per cent) in the West Midlands say they were previously familiar with the plans to introduce a new metro mayor for their region.

To what extent, if at all, were you previously familiar or unfamiliar with the plans to introduce a new metro mayor for the city-region?

familiarity-west-midlands
Source: ComRes. All adults in the West Midlands (n=514

What is the political landscape in West Midlands?

The current metro mayor is Conservative Andy Street elected in May 2017 and winning with 50.4% after second preferences. Second was Siôn Simon with 49.6%. The turn out was 26.3%

Find out more about metro mayors

Check  ‘Getting ready for mayors’ for all the latest blogs, articles, events and research on the new mayors.

Get up to date on the policies and powers affecting the metro mayors by reading our metro mayors FAQ.

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