University hosts mayoral debate

Candidates contesting the forthcoming elections for the role of West Midlands Mayor took part in a debate at the University of Wolverhampton.

The event in the Chancellor’s Hall at the University’s Wulfruna Building in Wolverhampton City Centre saw James Burn (Green), Peter Durnell (UKIP), Beverley Nielsen (Liberal Democrat) Sion Simon (Labour) and Andy Street (Conservative) take to the stage.

Chaired by broadcaster Adrian Goldberg the candidates fielded questions from the audience on a diverse range of subjects including Brexit, health inequality, growth in digital technology, the structure of the combined authority and international investment.

The new Mayor will head up the West Midlands Combined Authority which represents the three major cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton and seven local authority areas in the area.

The successful candidate will have will have devolved powers from central government to oversee transport, housing, economic policy and skills. Controlling a potential budget worth billions of pounds, the Mayor will be the voice of the West Midlands in Whitehall.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Jackie Dunne said: “It was fantastic to host the five candidates at the University and give people in Wolverhampton a chance to hear directly from them and put their questions to them.

“The new Mayor will have a lot of powers and will be representing the region so it is important we as a University help staff, students and the wider community to engage in the election process.”

Voting for the mayor takes place on 4 May 2017 with polling stations opening between 7am and 10pm.

ENDS

For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003.

Date Issued: Thursday 26 April 2017

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