Keynote Conservative Conference speech
WMCA Mayor Andy Street told this week’s Conservative Party Conference how the region is leading the way.
In a keynote speech on the main conference floor he talked about the headline achievements and challenges.
Delegates heard that the West Midlands economy is the fastest growing in the UK, top for inward investment, exports, start-ups outside London and pay growth – and even have a trade surplus with China.
The Mayor welcomed the government’s Modern Industrial Strategy and that the West Midlands was once again becoming the engines of the UK’s success.
But he added that not everyone was yet sharing in this success, challenging government to join him in his priority to address the skills challenge and unleash the full potential of the Industrial Strategy for everyone.
The Mayor featured in BBC Two’s Daily Politics live from the conference.
He also addressed the fringe event ‘The Triumph of the Cities? How can metro mayors unlock the potential of Britain’s cities?’
Conference continued … on the fringe
Andy joined Deputy Mayor Cllr Bob Sleigh as part of a panel of experts at the 'HS2 - the catalyst for a more prosperous West Midlands' fringe event, sponsored by Birmingham Airport and UK Central Urban Growth Company.
The top table of speakers also included Dudley South MP Mike Wood, Huw Rhys Lewis, managing director, UK Central Urban Growth Company, Clair Mowbray, chief executive, National High Speed Rail College and Laura Shoaf, managing director, TfWM.
WMCA and E.ON hosted a 'Meet the Midlands Engine and partners' reception, led by Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace.
The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, addressed a packed room, as did Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.ON UK, and Paul Faulkner, chief executive, Greater Birmingham Chambers.
Commonwealth Games Bid confirmed
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley this week announced Birmingham will be the official UK candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
United support for the bid from the whole West Midlands was seen as pivotal to securing the nomination.
The Mayor told Midlands Today that hosting the Games would be an opportunity to welcome the whole Commonwealth and showcase the region around the world.
He said the investment would bring lasting benefits for Birmingham, the West Midlands and the whole UK.
Diwali with a difference
Plans are under way for a Diwali celebration in Birmingham’s Victoria Square - with dancers, performers, street food and much more.
Keep an eye on the WMCA website and news channels for details of the event, scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday 14 October.
Half- price fare scheme launched
The Mayor has launched a half price travel scheme for apprentices and trainees aged 18 and under.
Andy Street was joined by representatives from bus and Midland Metro operator National Express West Midlands, and West Midlands Trains, the new regional rail franchise for the event at the new National College of High Speed Rail.
The move, introduced by the WMCA, will see an extra 31,000 young people benefit from the 50 per cent discount on the region’s buses, trains and trams.
It’s especially good news for apprentices and trainees, who were liable for the full adult fare.
World Mental Health Day
The WMCA will be supporting World Mental Health Day next Tuesday,10 October, in line with our key priority to boost wellbeing and prosperity in the West Midlands.
It is an opportunity to focus on mental health issues, on work in the field and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health centres on mental health in the workplace.
Watch out on social media for how we will be getting involved and share our messages.
Building leadership team
Dr Julie Nugent has just been appointed WMCA director of productivity and skills, the latest recruit to the WMCA leadership team.
Julie joins from her role as chief executive of Warwickshire-based national charity, the Design and Technology Association, which works with schools and employers to promote design, engineering and technology education.
She has extensive experience in the productivity and skills sector, following a range of senior roles across government and the further education sector and has led on developing new funding systems for the Skills Funding Agency and the Learning & Skills Council.
She is the latest addition to the emerging leadership team, which now comprises:
- Deborah Cadman, chief executive
- Sean Pearce, director of corporate services
- Julia Goldsworthy, director of strategy
- Laura Shoaf, managing director of Transport for West Midlands
- Julie Nugent, director of productivity & skills
- Henry Kippin, interim director of public service reform
- Patrick White, interim director of housing & regeneration
- Neil Rami, chief executive of West Midlands Growth Company
Tim Martin, head of governance and Jan Jennings, head of communications, also attend.
Future meetings schedule
WMCA Board (public meeting) - 11am-1pm
- Friday 13 October 2017
- Friday 10 November 2017
- Friday 8 December 2017
- Friday 12 January 2018
WMCA Programme Board (private meeting) - 9am-11am
- Friday 13 October 2017
- Friday 27 October 2017
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