The West Midlands mayoral campaign is a great opportunity for us to get our distinctive Liberal Democrat messaging out there, to promote the party and to support our vital local elections.
I am focusing on three overriding principles in my campaign to become the mayor of the West Midlands.
1. Empowering people and communities
I believe that we can achieve so much more for our communities when we listen to people’s lived experiences and involve them in the decisions that affect their lives. I want to see businesses, individuals, communities and experts all working together to address the challenges that we are facing. I want to set up citizens assemblies and build genuine forms of public consultation to listen and engage with people, especially those from under-represented groups.
2. Tackling poverty and inequality
The pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s health, mental health and on the economy in the West Midlands.
The pandemic has shone a light on huge inequalities across the region. We've seen that poorer households, families of colour and the disabled have been impacted far worse by pandemic. It's critically important to me that we look at how we can come out of this pandemic, building a stronger, fairer community across our region.
I see universal basic income as a key way to tackle inequality, and I want to start UBI trials in the region, alongside implementing a real living wage. We need an urgent house-building programme, with a focus on building homes for social rent.
3. Building a green heart of England
The West Midlands should be at the centre of the green revolution. We have a huge opportunity to revitalize our manufacturing sector, which has been a thriving industry for the West Midlands in the past, by pivoting towards green technologies.
We are focused on building green infrastructure: a zero-carbon, integrated transport network, sustainable housing, and developing a network of green spaces across the region to support biodiversity and provide mental health benefits to the people.
In summary, I want to build a greener, fairer, more compassionate West Midlands.