Andy Street was elected mayor of the West Midlands in May on the back of a series of promises to promote the region and to ensure that the region realised its full potential. He garnered a lot of support in the business community, for his forward thinking and blunt speech, his experience in business and contacts in the wider world made him an attractive mayoral candidate to the people of Birmingham, especially with Brexit around the corner. On Tuesday 13th June, we caught up with Mr Street to see how he’s finding the role and what he’s been doing since elected into the position of mayor.
Since becoming Mayor of the West Midlands, Mr Street has been busy, touring the region, meeting with local businesses to see what they think needs to be done to improve the region, as well as meeting with local people to get their opinion on some of the key issues in the area. Mr Street has opened new shelters for the homeless in Birmingham and Coventry. He had at the time of interview also returned from Coventry where he had just inspected a series of new buildings which will house businesses that are coming to the area.
Mr Street has also stayed true to his commitment to helping young people get into employment. The launch of his Midlands Mentor scheme has received critical praise from the business community as well as from young people, with close one thousand entrepreneurs signing up to be a mentor to a young person. Mr Street reaffirmed his commitment to helping young people during the interview, stating his intention to take full use of the Government’s apprenticeship levy to get young people into apprenticeships and then full time employment.
Finally, Andy Street once again emphasised his commitment to promoting the West Midlands and ensuring the region reached its proper potential. Mr Street stated that in a meeting with the Combined Authority, it was agreed that the West Midlands not just Birmingham would put a bid in for the Commonwealth Games, which if successful would bring a lot of business and media attention to the region. Mr Street also stated his desire to see a successful bid by Birmingham to bring Channel 4 and its associated benefits to Birmingham.
With his investment into the Midlands Mentor scheme and his campaigning for the West Midlands to get the Commonwealth Games as well as Channel 4 and his continued meetings with local businesses and residents, Andy Street continues to show just how committed he is to the West Midlands, and just how seriously he wants the area to succeed.