On 4th May 2017, nearly 2 million voters across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton will have the opportunity to vote for the first ever West Midlands Mayor.
The new Mayor will chair the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and is all part of a drive towards the devolution of powers and budgets from Westminster and Whitehall.
The new Mayor’s powers will be relatively limited to begin with, but it is hoped that in common with City and Metro Mayor across the world, their responsibilities and influence will grow over time.
The Mayor will have some direct powers and exercise other responsibilities in partnership with the council leaders and local enterprise partnerships chairs which make up the WMCA.
The devolution deal between the Government and the WMCA, which led to the creation of this new elected office, included a £1.1Bn investment fund over 30 years, or £36M a year, which the Mayor will control.Initial powers include:
Transport – consolidated transport budget, key roads network, bus franchising and smart ticketing
Skills – devolved adult skills budget
Housing and Planning – compulsory purchase powers.
Perhaps more importantly, the Mayor will chair the WMCA and lead its overall strategy, priorities and budget setting.
The Mayor’s principal role will be to represent the West Midlands to the UK Government and to promote the region on the local, national and international stage.
The Mayor will be paid £79,000 per year – about the same as a Member of Parliament.
As the WMCA says, be part of history. Vote 4th May for the West Midlands Mayor.
You might find this short video from the BBC’s Elizabeth Glinka helpful:
Confused about the elected mayor? Here's Elizabeth Glinka with everything you need to know. A Mayor for the West Midlands is on tonight at 10.45pm on BBC One #wmmayor
Posted by BBC Midlands Today on Thursday, 20 April 2017
There are a range of resources that you may find useful ahead of casting your vote on 4th May.
The official election website, from the West Midlands Combined Authority, can be found here.
Take a final glance at the official election booklet which can be downloaded here.
Chamberlain Files has a summary of the manifestos and commitments here.
The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with a range of other organisations including ourselves, has put together a toolkit which you can download here or visit its dedicated page here.
The Chambers have also put together set of priorities for the incoming Mayor.
Another of our partners, Centre for Cities, is largely responsible for developing the Metro Mayor model. It has a range of useful resources on its website, including a guide to Metro Mayors: Everything you need to know about Metro Mayors.
The Centre also published three policy priorities for consideration by the candidates.
Here are its reflections on the candidate manifestos.
Unison, the trade union, another of our Partners, published a manifesto for the West Midlands Mayor. Download this here.
You can see information on each candidate here on this site.
You can also review the four Public Debates we staged and the reports from our media partners by navigating through ‘The Debates’ tab above.