Vying for votes to be the newly formed Metro Mayor of the West Midlands, Labour candidate, Siôn Simon, was busy at his campaign office, the Communication Worker Union office, in Newtown, in Birmingham, to overlook on his campaigners busy on the phone as they gathered his support.
“As Mayor, I will champion our region,” he said. “I would push to take back control-from Westminster-and putting the West Midlands first.”
To make history and be the first ever Mayor, of the region, he said; “There is nowhere in the world that compares to the West Midlands. If we were a nation, we’d be the 58th biggest country in the world and I would bring the united pride in what is the most diverse, multicultural area there is in Britain. And I want to champion that.”
The inaugural Metro Mayor will hold office for three years, with the term length being four years after that. A planned directly elected political post responsible for the metropolitan county – which includes; Birmingham, Wolverhampton Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Coventry – Simon said; “We have a culture in the West Midlands that is woven with diversity – a key strength here – and as Mayor, I would connect visitors – business and otherwise – to that; whether it be the South East Asian food culture in Ladypool Road for instance, the Chinese Quarter, the newer Eastern European communities, or the number of Caribbean cultural centres that’s away from our central towns and cities. The West Midlands is a fantastic hub for multiculturalism and I for one is hugely proud of that.
"Our region holds an incredibly special place in world; there’s Shakespeare – arguably the most creative figure in history whose body of work is unparalleled - the steam engine - the Lunar men - manufacturers of world-class cars and the spitfire – made in Castle Bromwich, in Birmingham.
The collective geniuses of the West Midlands are game-changers - global and historic leaders. I will see that we celebrate this more.”
A former MP for Birmingham, Erdington, Siôn is one of six candidates for the new post with the election to be held on May 4.