Street view: Review of the Metro Mayor’s first year in charge

Simon Dale BW 2018v2

4 May marked the first year of Andy Street’s mayor ship. So how has the former MD of John Lewis fared in his first year as the first-ever Mayor for the West Midlands?

Simon Dale BW 2018v2

Simon Dale, Midlands director, Mace

For any leader it’s important to get some early wins on the board to build confidence and get the team behind you.

In this regard Andy Street has got off to a flying start and achieved more than any other Metro Mayor, having successfully championed Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Coventry’s 2021 City of Culture bid and held a high-profile meeting with the Prime Minister to make the case for Channel 4’s move to the regions, showing the eye for an opportunity that characterised his career in retail.

There have undoubtedly been teething problems, not least the rejection of a proposed £10 a year council tax increase to fund mayoral priorities, by local authority leaders.

However, unlike Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham, the West Midlands Mayor has not been able to draw on the resources of a long-established civil service, nor such a settled regional political environment.

In appointing a leadership team comprised of councillors from across all seven constituent local authorities in senior management roles Andy Street has shown his ability to reach out to politically sensitive local authorities and form common partnerships behind an agenda.

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