Written by George Beard
Major candidates for the upcoming West Midlands Metro Mayor election have given their thoughts on the future of housing and infrastructure across the region.
Andy Street (Conservative), Beverley Nilsen (Liberal Democrat), James Burn (Green) and Pete Durnell (UKIP) all outlined what their priorities would be if they were to be elected in May. Labour’s Sion Simon was not present at the hustings event, which was hosted by Insider Media in Solihull.
All candidates were in agreement that housing was perhaps the most contentious responsibility a newly elected Mayor would have to undertake. UKIP’s Durnell said that brownfield sites should be used to address the need for additional housing across the region. Andy Street meanwhile said that the seven local authorities in the region would need to collaborate to address the housing crisis.
The Green Party’s James Burn meanwhile said tackling homelessness would be at the forefront of his agenda, while the Lib Dem’s Beverley Nielsen said that gaining significant planning powers would be an important measure that the Mayor should push for.
Interestingly, it was not entirely clear to the candidates what planning powers the newly elected Mayor would exactly have after May. Time will tell how effective they can be in the new role in addressing the region’s housing requirements.
If you would like more information about how the Metro Mayor election could affect spatial planning policy across the region, get in touch with the Remarkable team.