Who: Mayor of West Midlands Region
When: 4th May 2017, 7am-10pm
Where: Metropolitan areas of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton
What: To lead the West Midlands Combined Authority
Why: Create Jobs, enhance skills, develop prosperity and drive economic growth
What is a Mayor of West Midlands Region and why do we have one?
On May 4th 2017, the West Midlands will elect its first metro mayor. The mayor will have control over the whole of the West Midlands combined authority, and they will work with Council leaders to create a plan for the area as part of a government plan to devolve more powers to local areas.
The metro mayor will be responsible for setting out a strategy for growing the region’s economy and will have powers over issues such as housing, transport and skills. In order to achieve their aim, the mayor will have a total 30 year budget of £1.1bn allowing them to invest in projects of their choice.
What is the West Midlands Combined Authority?
The West Midlands Combined authority is a combined authority for the West Midlands metropolitan county in England which came into being on 17th June 2016. It is a strategic authority with powers over transport, economic development and regeneration. Individual Councils will carry on like they do already, running the same services with the same funding, the aim of the combined authority is to make decisions taken by central government in London. The combined authority is led by seven constituency councillors who have full voting rights on the board, with the current chairman being Councillor Bob Sleigh, who will be replaced by the directly elected mayor.
Who is covered by the combined authority?
To understand who is covered by the combined authority it’s important to know that it is split into three categories; constituent authorities, non-constituent authorities and local enterprise partnerships (business development groups.
Constituent authorities – Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton
Non-constituent authorities – Cannock Chase, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Redditch, Tamworth, Telford and Wrekin
Local enterprise partnerships – Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham
There are also two councils who are currently applying to join as non-constituent members, they are Shropshire and Stratford-on-Avon. The door remains open to others in the region to join.
How and when do I vote?
You can vote at your local polling station on the 4th May 2017 between 7am and 10pm or by postal vote up until 10pm on the 4th May as well as voting by proxy. You should receive a polling card by post before the election with all the details you’ll need, including details of your local polling station.
There are six candidates contesting the election for West Midlands metro mayor, they are:
|Labour Co-Op||Conservative||Liberal Democrat||Green Party||UKIP||Communist|
|Siôn Simon||Andy Street||Beverley Nielsen||James Burn||Pete Durnell||Graham Stevenson|
The electoral system:
This election will use the supplementary vote system (SV). This is a preferential based voting system which allows you to choose a first and second choice. Votes are counted from the first choices, if any candidate reaches an overall majority then they win. If they don’t reach an overall majority, then the two candidates with the highest number of first choice votes progress to vote counting for second choices, all other candidates are eliminated from the running. The secondary choice votes are counted from voters who’s first choice was eliminated and added directly to the totals of first choice votes of the two remaining candidates. The candidate with the most total first and second choice votes wins the election.