The first metro mayor of the West of England will need a vision for the city region and clear strategic, deliverable policies to meet it.
The challenge and workload will be considerable, with powers and expectations ranging from delivering policy, to establishing the institutions and capacity for effective city region governance. This briefing outlines priorities for the West of England and offers steps to help the new metro mayor effect change in their first term.
Not all of these policy priorities can be enacted immediately: some will be quick and visible, while others will reflect a longer term vision for the city region.
- A ‘quick win’ will help the mayor to set the tone for delivery right from the start.
- Strategic decisions form the framework for delivering the metro mayor’s vision.
- A long term vision for the city will be the key election platform – it is what the mayor is working towards while in office.
Policy priority 1: A quick win
Get more homes built
- Signal your intent to build more homes by developing a more ambitious strategic plan for the city region
- Use the mandate and political capital of office to call for a strategic review of local green belts
- Look for ways to make development attractive for sceptical communities
- Widen the scope of the Bristol Land Commission to the city region
Policy priority 2: A strategic aim
Build the profile of the West of England economy
- Promote the businesses and amenities of the West of England across the UK
- Build international links to make it easier for firms to trade following Brexit
- Represent a range of industries where firms benefit from international links
- Build on the profile of West of England’s globally recognised universities
- Ensure that a higher national and international profile also translates into benefits for communities across the city region
Policy priority 3: A longer term vision
Investing in transport to make the city region more accessible
- Take ownership of the Joint Transport Strategy findings
- Ensure transport helps to make a coherent city region for all residents
- Review the strategic decisions on rail extensions bringing together decision makers in City Hall.
- Champion the West of England’s cycling and walking culture