Mayor sets clear direction in first days
The newly-elected Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority, Andy Street, has outlined his vision for the way forward for the region. Priorities in his first 100 days will be to:
- Develop action plans on housing, jobs and transport
- Launch quick congestion-busting measures, including reviewing traffic light timings and roadwork plans on the M6 and other key routes
- Find Mayor’s Mentors for 1,000 young people in the West Midlands (see more below)
- Meet the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street to discuss how Government can help deliver our priorities in the West Midlands
- Lead West Midlands businesses on a trade mission to a fast growing market, such as Silicon Valley
- Invite Brexit Cabinet Ministers to the region to meet businesses and the public for a Brexit summit
- Hold the first Mayoral 'Ask Andy' sessions where members of the public can ask any questions they have
- Set the date of the first Mayor’s Community Day of region-wide charity activities
- Convene a Faith Leaders’ Summit to agree priorities for the Mayor in community relations and integration
- Build the Mayoral leadership team by appointing key executive roles
Andy and his team have already moved into their base at 16 Summer Lane in Birmingham and will also have additional meeting space at the city's Baskerville House, with satellite bases in Coventry and Wolverhampton.
Call for mentors to nurture young talent
Tomorrow will see the launch of an ambitious programme to unearth and develop the brightest young people in the West Midlands.
It is the Mayor's aim that everybody should have the chance to succeed in life, no matter what their background. In one of his first initiatives, 'Mayor’s Mentors,' he is looking to help give young people the life skills and advice they need to flourish.
If you have been successful in your career and would like to help young people just starting out, retraining or moving into new employment, you can make a difference by becoming a Mayor’s Mentor.
For more details and to register, please visit: https://www.wmca.org.uk/mayorsmentors
Homelessness high on the agenda
The Mayor has pledged to address rough sleeping and homelessness as a priority in Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry. In his first week in office, he has already established a task force with the overarching aim of eradicating the problem across the whole region.
During his time as the Mayor, he is aiming to tackle the issues which cause people to live on the streets, increase the number of homes built in the West Midlands and explore possible partnerships with the private sector to alleviate the situation.
Mayor's deputy announced
At the WMCA Board meeting on Friday, Councillor Bob Sleigh OBE, was appointed as Deputy Mayor. Councillor Sleigh, the Leader of Solihull Council, has relinquished his role as Chair of the WMCA to assume his new responsibilities.
Commonwealth Games bid
One of the Mayor's first tasks was to offer his support for Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The bid was launched on Friday after the WMCA Board - which Mr Street chaired for the first time since his election - formally backed the proposal.
The Mayor was joined by Cllr Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, in officially notifying Government of the city's intention to bid. Birmingham was already preparing a submission to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026, but when 2022 host city Durban, in South Africa, pulled out, Birmingham brought its bid forward.
The Government issued a call to UK cities interested in hosting the 2022 Games last month and will work with bidders and the relevant Commonwealth Games Associations on a detailed assessment of whether Britain could host the event. The winning city will be announced in autumn.
TfWM's rapid response to bomb delays
This week saw the region experience significant delays across bus and rail routes, following the discovery of an unexploded WW2 bomb in Aston, Birmingham. A 500 metre cordon was put in place causing the Cross City North rail line to be suspended and the closure of the Aston Expressway.
The network disruption communications plan was implemented as the first incidents were received and customers were kept updated throughout the-two day disruption via the Network West Midlands website, social media, RTI screens and apps, with dedicated staff working outside normal hours until the issues were resolved.
Messages reached over 100,000 people on social media. There was a 30% increase in traffic to the NWM website, with customer queries responded to in under 20 minutes.
General Election Purdah guidance
With the General Election taking place on June 8, the rules on Purdah apply for the WMCA in the same way as for our council partners, preventing the use of WMCA resources to make political statements that could be perceived as affecting the outcome of the election.
The WMCA must be mindful of this period of heightened political sensitivity ahead of the election date. The pre-election rules restrict activity wider than publicity. Use of WMCA facilities and resources, developing new policies and holding events should all be considered carefully.
Particular care should be taken with regard to social media. WMCA must not retweet or engage with politicians during the Purdah period.
If you have any queries about the restrictions during the pre-election period please contact email@example.com or telephone 0121 214 7089.
Global cyber attack latest
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) colleagues are continuing to scan WMCA networks to ensure they are not affected by the recent public malware outbreak. To date no infections have been detected.
Future meetings schedule
WMCA Programme Board (Non-public meeting)
- Friday 26 May 9-11am
- Friday 23 June 9-11am
- Friday 7 July 9-11am
- Friday 28 July 9-11am
WMCA Board (Public meeting)
- Friday 23 June 11am-1pm
- Friday 21 July 11am-1pm
- Friday 11 August 11am-1pm (provisional, if required)
- Friday 8 September 11am-1pm
For more information or to send content for the next WMCA news bulletin, please contact:
PR Executive, West Midlands Combined Authority
0121 214 7157
Follow us on twitter @WestMids_CA