Samuel Williams: My plan for the West of England

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Category: General news

I am sure you will agree that these elections are an opportunity to recover with a Mayor who embodies the future.  This is not the time for the old, outdated solutions of the past in the expectation of different results; but rather this is time to take hole of opportunity and secure our recovery.

Our fantastic region deserves to be led by someone with energy and optimism, who can connect together all the tremendous assets we have across the West of England, and build something really special as we emerge from the pandemic.

And doing this means getting the big things delivered.

That is why I will be focusing upon Implementing a modern transport system that not only connects our region but innovates new low carbon alterative too. Tim Bowles, the current conservative mayor secured over 30 million for the West of England to become a Future Transport Zone tasked with trailing new methods of getting around. We have seen the Voi scooter trial and I will build upon this with three guiding principles to addressing our transport issues. I will integrate by bring together ticketing and timetables so that it is quick, easy and afforbale to move around our region. I will expand by scaling up our current services including delivering at least 6 new stations and ‘on-demand’ bus services.  And I will innovate, we must become a region that embraces innovation in this area so that we can see a transport network that works, I will introduce new walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure and explore new rural travel options.

But it is not just travel. We must look towards our skills agenda, training for jobs of the future. We must build communities and pioneer modern methods of development, and importantly we must ensure our economy recovers from the impacts of covid-19.

Skills

I will close the gap between education and employment, marrying the needs of educators and businesses with those of the workforce of the future. Through conversations and consultations with both sectors across the region, The New Collaborative Future Skills Programme will make skills and training work for you and your future career.  My plan is opportunity driven, allowing everyone, regardless of background to access the expertise and know how they need so as to upskill and access jobs.

Building Homes and communities

I will prioritise the regeneration of brownfield sites, making the most of our underused spaces building upon and taking further the work of WECA thus far. It is important that we invest in Modern Methods of Development, low carbon construction and sustainable technologies both for new and to retrofit current properties. That why I will work closely with government to unlock investment so that we can become a leading light in a sustainable future.

Economic recovery and Jobs

I commit to the Workforce For The Future programme, which will ensure that people and businesses are fully equipped with the tools and skills they need to develop, grow and remain the life-blood of the West of England’s economy. Additionally, I will drive forward our Future Bright initiative. This will allow those whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic and those looking for work to receive bespoke advice and support to develop their skills, increase their income and enhance their career prospects.

It is time to take hold of opportunity and that requires fresh thinking, collaborative working and bold vision. That is why I am standing and this is the leadership I offer to our region.

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