On 6 May England will go to the polls for local elections. Alongside council elections, people in eight combined authority areas will have the chance to elect a mayor. This regional leader will help to guide their local economy through the post pandemic reality, setting a strong economic vision and recovery plan, while also encouraging business investment.
The CBI has published a 'Revival Plan: A business manifesto for regional prosperity' for each area:
- Liverpool City Region
- Greater Manchester
- Tees Valley
- West Yorkshire
- West Midlands
- West of England
- Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
- Greater London
The pandemic has demonstrated that empowering regions remains critically important, especially to secure a sustainable recovery. Businesses want mayors across England to set a strong economic vision for their regions. These manifestos set out how each area can achieve their full potential during recovery and beyond, through business and government working in partnership. They will provide the basis for ongoing and future engagement with the mayor of each combined authority.
The manifestos follow three guiding principles for mayors, developed in partnership with our members:
- Champion regional dynamism and global competitiveness to raise living standards
At the forefront of any plan to revive and thrive must be a strong economic vision ensuring the region is an attractive place for businesses to invest. Providing this vision and promoting export will assist with driving business recovery and prosperity. The mayor should harness their leadership position to promote the region on a global stage.
- Transform digital and physical infrastructure in the race to net zero
There are opportunities, including making the most of the UK hosting COP26, to ensure each region plays its part in the race to net zero and is more resilient to future challenges. There must be a concerted effort to improve connectivity, with plans reflecting new ways of working.
- Stimulate job creation and secure an inclusive workforce for the future
Mayors should use the devolved adult education budget to aid the re-training and re-skilling agenda, making sure solutions are appropriate for local areas and skills needs. Location within a combined authority should have no bearing on the accessibility of education, training or employment. By creating an inclusive environment for all, mayors will also help those businesses who are struggling to recruit skilled workers.