Andy Street has been elected the first mayor of the West Midlands.
The Conservative Party candidate was declared winner of the historic first election following the count at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena today (Friday May 5).
The former John Lewis boss will now chair the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and its cabinet of the seven West Midlands council leaders.
Thanking his election team the new Mayor said: “I want to be a mayor who works for everyone across the West Midlands and binds all of our leaders together.
“That’s because ultimately that’s what this job is all about – about building a team to champion the West Midlands, building an alliance with central government, with local people, that will put the West Midlands back in its rightful place as the leading region of the UK.”
The election, on Thursday May 4, saw votes cast in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Mr Street secured victory over Labour’s Sion Simon by 238,628 votes to 234,862.
A West Midlands mayor was part of the devolution deal between the WMCA and the Government, which will see more than £1.1 billion made available for investment in the region over the next 30 years.
Mr Street will:
• Have control over new long term budgets from central government
• Implement transport investment, strategic planning, improve skills and invest in new homes
• Lobby on behalf of their area, on the issues that matter to local people not only in Westminster, but on the world stage
• Work with local business leaders to achieve what’s best for local jobs and the economy
• Capitalise on local strengths and assets like our universities, scientific research and innovation
Mr Street will hold office for three years. The next election is in May 2020, then every four years after that.
The other candidates results were:
• Beverley Nielsen (Liberal Democrat) – 30,378
• Pete Durnell (UK Independence Party) – 29,051
• James Burn (Green Party) – 24,260
• Graham Stevenson (Communist Party) – 5,696
Source: West Midlands Combined Authority