OUR CAMPAIGN #BACKBEVERLEY
Beverley Nielsen is the Liberal Democrat candidate in the West Midlands metro mayor election on 4 May 2017. This will be a hotly contested major new political role with the power to direct the future of the region.
We are asking you to invest in Beverley's campaign to give her the best fighting chance to compete on a level with her main competitors – from the big parties – who have far greater finances and resources.
You will give the West Midlands the chance to hear Beverley’s powerful case for change and unity across the region. This is a case which the government’s Tory candidate and Labour opposition will not and cannot make.
WHAT IS BEVERLEY FIGHTING FOR?
Beverley is fighting for a strong West Midlands’ voice to be taken seriously by government and to build a future made by us for us.
She is the only main party candidate in the election fighting to keep the benefits of the Single Market. As mayor, she will demand a seat at the Brexit negotiations that government is determined to force using as little accountability as it can.
We have to speak up now about how we leave the EU. Otherwise, thirty years of building growth and opportunity will be destroyed in two years as if our children’s futures don’t matter.
The Northern Powerhouse, the Manchester region, already has a seat at Brexit negotations guaranteed by government. Our current Labour and Tory leaders have failed to secure a seat for us. Beverley will change that.
IT’S ABOUT OUR MONEY
For too long the West Midlands has been a pushover region for government who have not given us our fair share. No more.
Beverley is the only candidate who will talk about the £4 billion black hole in the West Midlands’ finances. This black hole exists because of government imposed austerity on the region and because government will take away its financial safety net for councils in 2020. Councils already can't balance their books without government help.
Labour and Tory councils have negotiated a poor deal from government going forward that will lead to still further cuts across the West Midlands. That's why we now have council tax and business rate rises with more to come. That's why our public services and transport system are in such a terrible state. We have to take drastic action.
INVESTMENT NOT CUTS
Beverley will demand a better deal for the West Midlands as the growth engine of Britain, and drive a fairer division of investment across the region.
She will make sure councils manage their budgets, not continuously raise taxes to balance their books. She will back the needs of the region's small businesses and manufacturers.
She will protect public services and reform service provision and put the public, not targets, at the heart of delivery.
POWERFUL NEW MAYOR
Beverley has the regional civic and business leadership experience to lead the councillors for which the new mayor will be responsible.
She is the only candidate who can unite six Labour councils and one Tory council. Their track record and political divisions mean a mayor from either of those two parties will not be able to drive real change for the region.
The new mayor will have similar powers to the Mayor of London including on infrastructure, skills, jobs, employment and business support. They will also be the international ambassador for the region.
GIVE BEVERLEY A FIGHTING CHANCE
Beverley’s main party opposition have their party machines behind them with large budgets – one reportedly over £1.5m – and full-time staff. Beverley doesn’t. She’s not on a financial level playing field with her competitors.
Your donations will help Beverley invest in:
- A small full-time campaign team until 4 May
- A poster and advertising campaign
- Leaflets, letters and postal distribution
- Manifesto design, print and distribution.
We have six weeks to put in place everything Beverley needs just to catch up and have a fighting chance to get her message out to voters before the intense four weeks leading up to the election on 4 May.
CEO Heart Of England Tourist Board
West Midlands hospitality and tourism champion.
CEO Fired Earth
Board Director FTSE-250 AGA Rangemaster plc
West Midlands retailer and manufacturer.
West Midlands Regional Director
Confederation of British Industry
13 years UK & EU lobbying.
Founder Birmingham Made Me
Design expos and jobs fairs.
West Midlands Catalyst Helping 30 Start-Ups
Design and manufacturing.
West Midlands Business Insider Power 100
Influencer 2013, 2014, 2015.
Voted West Midlands Ambassador
The Business Desk 2013.
Founder IDEA Think Tank
West Midlands industry and innovation.
Read more about Beverley’s background as West Midlands champion.
WHO CAN INVEST IN OUR CAMPAIGN?
Anyone who is on the UK electoral register and living in the West Midlands has a stake in investing in our campaign.
EU nationals living in the West Midlands and on the UK electoral register also get a vote in this election and can invest in our campaign. If you haven’t registered and want your voice heard, register here now. The deadline to register to vote in this election is Thursday 13 April.
But you don’t have to live in the West Midlands to invest. Maybe you were born here or have family in the region and want to see it thrive for their sake. You won’t be able to vote in this election even if you’re on the UK-wide electoral register, but your investment will give Beverley the fighting chance to make a difference to a place that means a lot to you.
If you would like to support us but are not on the register, we’d offer a big thank you if you would spread the word on your social media network.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THIS ELECTION ABOUT?
On 4 May 2017, the people of the West Midlands will be able to vote for an elected mayor for the first time. This is a new position created by government to lead the West Midlands Combined Authority, established in 2015, to provide a shared investment strategy for the whole region. Other parts of the country are also getting elected regional mayors for the first time.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
The mayor will head up a decision-making board made up of all city council leaders across the West Midlands.
This election matters because the mayor will head up and lead the West Midlands Combined Authority. This is a formal group of seven local authorities and three local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) which make up the West Midlands Metropolitan Area (see map above).
The councils are: Birmingham (Lab), Coventry (Lab), Dudley (Lab), Sandwell (Lab), Solihull (Cons), Walsall (Lab) and Wolverhampton (Lab).
The LEPs are: Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire.
Cannock Chase, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Redditch, Tamworth and Telford councils are also involved but not currently full members of the authority.
The mayor has £8bn to invest.
The Combined Authority has a collective budget is £8bn over 30 years. The budget includes a devolution deal with government where responsibility for local investment has been handed back from central government to local authorities.
The Combined Authority has established a West Midlands Investment Fund and negotiated for central government to input £36 million a year funding over 30 years.
WHAT IS THE MAYOR RESPONSIBLE FOR?
The mayor will have responsibility for local control of investment plans and funds for West Midlands priorities such as:
- Public transport including bus franchises.
- Adult skills and employability.
- Housing, public sector land, property and reclamation.
- Business rates and business support.
- Public sector reform.
- Economic growth and inward investment.
WHY SHOULD VOTERS CARE?
This is the first opportunity the region has ever had to have one strong voice for the region as a whole. The mayor will be able to ensure budgets are allocated fairly across all council areas according to need, negotiate and push back on central government and be an international ambassador for the region.
WHY SHOULD BUSINESSES CARE?
By working together with the mayor, businesses will be able to accelerate growth ambitions, contribute to public private investment plans and ensure priorities are driven to the benefit local employers and employees. Small and medium sized businesses particularly need to make sure they have a say in the decision-making processes of the Combined Authority.
Published and promoted by J Hunt on behalf of Beverley Nielsen, Liberal Democrat, at 244 Barr Street, Birmingham, B19 3AH
You must be an individual registered on a UK electoral register (including overseas electors) to be able to donate to this campaign. Permissibility checks will be carried out for donations over £500. Anonymous donations over £500 cannot be accepted. Multiple donations from the same source will be aggregated for recording and reporting purposes. Donor details will be included in the Liberal Democrat election return. Donations over £500 (including names and addresses) may in future appear on the Electoral Commission website.