West Midlands Metro Mayor – Three Policy Priorities for 2021

This briefing sets out three policy priorities for the new metro mayor after the election to address the biggest issues facing the economy of the West Midlands.

Briefing published on 19 April 2021 by Anthony Breach

In May, people living in the West Midlands city region will return to the polls to elect their second metro mayor. Introduced for the first time in 2017, this relatively new institution has significant executive powers and funding to make strategic decisions over the city region, allowing for policy to be better tailored to the local economy.

The key policies for the new metro mayor to put in place are as follows:

Policy 1: Continue the turnaround of Birmingham and Coventry city centres, to support their roles as centres of knowledge-based jobs to improve job opportunities for all West Midlands residents

  • Use the convening power of the mayor to help Birmingham city centre get back on its feet
  • Continue to focus on city centres in economic development plans
  • Make sure housebuilding keeps pace with demand, and is built where it is needed

Policy priority 2: Get people back into work

  • Support people that are economically inactive to be work-ready
  • Conduct an audit of adult education spend in the West Midlands
  • Embed evaluation in the numerous employment and training programmes currently piloted in the city region

Policy priority 3: Improve the bus network, and boost ridership

  • Use franchising powers to take control over bus services
  • Introduce a congestion charge in Birmingham city centre
  • Invest in buses using congestion charge revenues

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