On Thursday 4th May, voters within the West Midlands Combined Authority area will go to the polls to elect a mayor, who will chair the newly formed West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
There are seven local authority areas that make up the West Midlands Combined Authority. They are: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Pete Durnell has been selected as the UKIP candidate. Pete is the Chairman of the UKIP Sandwell branch; he stood as the UKIP candidate for the West Midlands Police force area Police and Crime Commisioner election (2016) and in the General Election of 2015 for the constituency of Warley.
Pete has been a member of UKIP for many years, is a libertarian and a strong advcocate of direct democracy. He is also a passionate beleiver in the soverign right of the UK to control its borders, make its own laws and trade freely in world markets.
Pete says “the West Midlands twice voted against having a Mayor, but our Government ignored us. Now we need make sure that the new WMCA and its Mayor work at all times in the best interests of the West Midlands businesses and its citizens.”
Pete believes that only a UKIP Mayor can ensure that council taxes and business rates are not hiked up to pay for vanity projects like HS2, and that instead the money should be spent on improving transport infrastructure across the whole of the West Midlands.
He also believes that post-Brexit, the new Mayor should play a key role in opposing the unwelcome influence of the EU’s City Regions 2020 program.
Pete’s priorities and vision for the role are:
All WMCA & Metro Mayor activities must be visible to the public, no secret meetings, honesty, openness and transparency must be at the heart of everything.
Focus on identifying and refurbishing empty houses, converting empty shops and offices into housing, preparing and utilising brownfield sites and protecting the green belt. End the mass relocation of families from other parts of the UK to the West Midlands.
Continue to oppose the £70bn HS2 ‘vanity project’. Prioritise transport improvements that will provide the greatest benefits to local businesses. Review and adopt measures that will improve traffic flow in our towns and cities.
Champion the introduction of greater flexibility in our education system. Enable transfer to grammar schools for children between 11 and 13 yrs. Identify and ensure West Midlands colleges provide courses in the key skills local employers desperately need.
Concentrate WMCA policies on supporting small and medium sized businesses. Ensure our communities and businesses are at the forefront of the Government’s full fibre broadband rollout program. Encourage and invest in innovation.