Express & Star

More work to be done for Andy Street as election manifesto launched

The West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has spoken of achieving much, but having so much more to do as he launched his election manifesto.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Mr Street officially launched his detailed, costed and thorough 149-page manifesto at the new Walsall Energy from Waste Facility on Thursday, speaking in the shadow of diggers at the innovative new facility under construction which aims to export heat to homes in the form of steam or hot water from 2027.

The Mayor was in good voice and flanked by a large group of staff and supporters as he spoke about the honour of serving as Mayor of his home region since 2017 and listed some of the achievements made during his time in the role.

He said: "Using my business-like approach, we have made huge strides.

Mr Street said there was still lots more to be done as he aimed for re-election as Mayor

"With £10 billion of new Government investment and record private sector investment, we’ve opened new metro routes and train stations, built a record number of homes to become the UK leader in housebuilding, and created hundreds of thousands of quality jobs, alongside the introduction of a tenacious up-skilling programme, so people no longer have to move away for their career.

“We’ve also faced the climate emergency head on, invested in our culture, and helped halve the number of rough sleepers on our streets.

“This has been achieved through cross-party working, sound financial management with no Mayoral tax, and sticking to my number one promise, putting place before party."

Mr Street also pointed out that the job wasn't done and felt there was a lot more to do, including delivering his 2040 transport vision, upgrading the transport network, spending £400 million on building social homes and turning the region into a tech capital.

Andy Street chats with Walsall Council leader Mike Bird ahead of the launch

He spoke of the importance of the region having a leader who was experienced and would put the region before party, as well as someone who is financially competent, will balance the books and has ambitions for the future.

The manifesto itself had a number of new and innovative ideas, such as a SxSW-style tech, music and creative festival, developing a task force for sporting events, funding careers advisors and developing a new Creative Arts Devolution Deal.

Speaking to the Express & Star afterwards, Mr Street spoke about the significance of launching his manifesto at the site in Walsall, pointing to it as part of the investment into redeveloping old industrial and brownfield sites.

He said: "We chose to launch here because this is a site that has been cleaned up by the wonderful Black Country contractor McAuliffe and it talks about our determination to get these brownfield site redeveloped as for 15 years, it had stood dormant and, now, it's coming back to life as an energy from waste site.

The 149-page manifesto carries a range of plans and ideas for the future

"If you think across the Black Country in particular, there are so many old industrial sites that we've managed to bring back either for employment use or for housing use, such as Comparo and Spark.

"It's also about inward investment coming in, so hundreds of millions of pounds are being spent here as an investor and that talks to this wider point about the West Midlands having brilliant inward investment performance recently."

Mr Street said he felt the campaign had gone well, saying that he had delivered a lot in his time as Mayor, and said that he didn't feel that the national picture and predictions for the General Election, where the Conservatives are predicted to lose heavily, would have any bearing on his campaign.

He said: "I do not believe that voters in the mayoral election will vote on national issues.

"We've seen it all before, not just in the West Midlands, but also in London, as we've seen that voters are well able to distinguish between the different roles and they know they are voting for one individual to lead the region.

"Yes, I happen to be Conservative and I'm a proud Conservative, but they really get the question is on the ballot papers, which is can this bloke do what he says he's going to do and do we trust him to go that."

Supporters carried slogans with Mr Street's achievements

Looking ahead, Mr Street said his manifesto was fully costed and funded, saying that seven years in the job had helped him to build up war chests and also have the contacts to lobby for and negotiate for more funding.

He said that the job itself was something he enjoyed and said that he had decided to put himself through the process because he knew there was more work to be done.

He said: "It was the first part of my speech where I said I've done seven years and asked myself whether I want to do it again, but I concluded, categorically, yes, because there's huge momentum that we've got to build on.

"I've learned how to do it and learned these negotiations with London and international businesses and I do enjoy it because it's about putting this place first, investing in my home region and it's all about the West Midlands.

"I always say to everyone that you are the leader and it's important to have that leader as you are not advising or consulting, you're leading and championing and you have to think, absolutely, place first and, sometimes, party second and you have to fall out with your party to do what's right for your region."

To read the full manifesto, go to