‘I want to be the new West Midlands Mayor - here’s my six point plan for the region’

Labour West Midlands Mayor candidate Richard Parker has outlined his plan to takeover for Andy Street in the Mayor Elections in 2024

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The man planning on putting an end to Andy Street’s seven-year reign as mayor has detailed his six-point promise to the people of the West Midlands.

Labour’s Bristol-born candidate Richard Parker has vowed to “build a region that is safe, proud and more prosperous”, while also taking a swipe at rival Mr Street for “failing working people who are being hit by a never-ending cost of living crisis”.

“I come from working class roots, my dad was a dock worker and my mum was a school secretary,” said Mr Parker, who has spent the last 25 years working at professional services firm PwC. “So I know the realities of working hard to make ends meet. Too many people in our region are now forced to rely on insecure jobs with low pay. I’ll bring high paid, high quality jobs across the West Midlands.

“Owning a home is also a distant dream for too many people and Conservative mis-management of the economy means that people can’t afford to heat their homes or buy food.”

West Midlands Mayor Labour candidate Richard ParkerWest Midlands Mayor Labour candidate Richard Parker
West Midlands Mayor Labour candidate Richard Parker

Mr Parker, 60, has lived and worked in the West Midlands all his adult life and has worked in business to provide housing, regeneration and secure investment into the region. “I have a proven track record of working to improve the lives of people here,” he added. “I’m committed to using my experience and skills to make all parts of our region places where everyone can thrive, and no one is left behind.”

The West Midlands mayoral election between Mr Street (Conservative) and Mr Parker (Labour) will take place on May 2, 2024. Amongst his pledges, Mr Parker wants people to access quality, safe and affordable housing and bring the West Midlands bus network into public control. He has also vowed to “fight poverty and end the scandal of low pay in the region”. Here’s the six pledges put forward by Labour’s mayoral candidate, Mr Parker:

  1. Put more money back in your pocket and offer real help with the cost of living crisis​
  2. Deliver cheaper, more reliable public transport that serves local people​
  3. Create high quality, well paid jobs, improve skills and back business to thrive​
  4. Fix the housing crisis by build more affordable homes and crack down on rogue landlords​
  5. Make our streets safer by tackling crime and antisocial behaviour​
  6. Revitalise our towns by protecting our heritage, growing our high streets and boosting tourism across our region

West Midlands Mayor Andy StreetWest Midlands Mayor Andy Street
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

Mr Street, meanwhile, has reaffirmed his intentions on taking on West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner powers should he secure a third term in office next summer.

Home Secretary James Cleverly has granted “to transfer the functions” of the PCC to the Mayor’s office, as is the case in London, Leeds and Manchester. The move by Mr Street has been branded a “hostile takeover” by the West Midlands’ current PCC, Simon Foster. He said: “There is no local democratic support for this cynical and divisive power grab.”

Mr Street replied: “We’ve had a Labour PCC here since the inception of the role in 2012 and we’ve seen a doubling of crime over the last eight years. We now have our force in special measures. The situation is decidedly worse here than everywhere else. If you ask the public what their number one concern is, this is what it is. You then say is it right to continue with the existing model or move to a model that’s already applied in London, in Manchester, in Leeds and is going to be elsewhere.”

In order for the role of the PCC to be transferred to the mayorship in the West Midlands, approval from Parliament must be given. The next PCC election will be held in May 2024.