The next Mayor of the West of England will need to be ready to face new challenges. From rebuilding the economy after coronavirus and Brexit, to and tackling the greatest challenge of our generation - the climate emergency.
If I am the next mayor of the West of England, I am determined that the region will have a carbon-neutral economy by 2030. To meet that ambitious goal - I'm ready to transform our region.
The first thing step is to ‘green’ our technologies. I will work with experts from industries across the region to set up a West of England Centre for Green Technological Excellence, creating lots of high paid jobs in green tech.
I will work with skills providers and use the mayoral skills budget to make sure that we are skilling up the next generation so that everyone has the opportunity to access those exciting green jobs in the future.
Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas in the West of England are probably some of the worst served areas for public transport in England. That's why we need a transport revolution to make sure that people are able to move around the region sustainably.
I want to move over to electric or hydrogen buses, stop relying on diesel and clean up the air quality in our city centres.
I want far more train and rail services in place, connecting communities.
I want to make sure that people are able to cycle or walk around our cities with confidence and build the infrastructure to make that happen, with safe pedestrian and cycling routes and more places to park and lock bikes.
Bristol and Bath are two of the most popular cities in England for house buyers. To deal with the huge demand, we need to be building more homes, we need to be building lots of types of homes to suit all budgets, and we need to build homes that are climate-friendly.
When I was a minister in the coalition government, I introduced the legislation for zero-carbon homes.
I will ask for that power back from central government, to use that legislation in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas so that the homes that we build in the future are green and sustainable.
We have a chance to win this mayoralty. We have the largest group of councillors in the region and winning the West of England mayoralty will be transformational for the party’s prospects in all elections in the future.