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Birmingham city skyline

Chambers unite on vision for elected Mayor

Three Chambers of Commerce across the West Midlands have united to produce a business blueprint outlining the priorities for the West Midlands elected Mayor.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce have launched their “manifesto” for  the election, which will take place on 4 May.

Business Priorities 2017: Vision for a West Midlands Mayor sets out the priorities and actions that the chambers would like a West Midlands Mayor to deliver.

The headline areas include:

  • Providing vision, leadership and promotion
  • Making the West Midlands the best possible place to do business
  • Developing world-class transport infrastructure
  • Ensuring a skills ecosystem fit for the future
  • Fostering a greater place to live, work and visit
  • Leading the region through Brexit 

It was written in partnership between the three chambers and developed in consultation with members.

According to a poll of over 500 businesses across the region in November, 49% of chamber members said they were not aware that the WMCA Mayoral election would take place on 4 May.

And 59% businesses did not feel well informed about the WMCA and WMCA Mayor.

Businesses agreed that a WMCA Mayor should:

  • Demand a fair share of funding for the region from the UK Government (88%).
  • Promote the region on a national and international stage to Government, investors and visitors (85%).
  • Prioritise improving transport connectivity across the region (78%).
  • Prioritise closing gaps between the needs of businesses and the skills available in the labour market (78%).

You can read the Business Priorities 2017: Vision for a West Midlands Mayor by going to the chamber’s website at www.greaterbirminghamchamber.com and clicking on Research and Campaigning.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “I am delighted to be working with our fellow chambers on this united vision for business.

“While our region, and our region’s businesses, are admirably diverse, there are strong shared needs and objectives common to all. This document sets out clearly and concisely the key areas which we want to see the successful West Midlands Mayor deliver on.

“Combined, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce have over 5,000 members and have been in business, for business, for over 200 years.

“The West Midlands Mayor elections represent a historic opportunity for the region. We look forward to continuing using this document to promote pro-business policies with the candidates.

“We will also be working hard to raise awareness of the elections amongst the business community. These elections are an opportunity for every eligible voter to shape the region’s future.”