After three years of broken promises Labour’s Liam Byrne promises to deliver for the West Midlands Labour’s candidate for West Midlands Mayor, Liam Byrne has put his Tory opponent’s track record centre-stage, as Byrne set out plans for new green council homes to end homelessness and deliver well-paid jobs in the green construction sector. In new research released today, Byrne argues that the Tory Mayor Andy Street has broken every major promise he has ever made:
1. He promised a Tory mayor would get more out of a Tory government. In fact our funding is the second worse of any metro area.
2. He promised we'd be the fastest growing region in the country - in fact we're now the worst - and unemployment is up by 7.5% since he took over as Mayor.
3. The West Midlands is building 19% fewer homes ordinary people can actually afford.
4. Knife crime is at an all-time high, despite Andy Street’s pledges to tackle it.
5. Congestion is worse and the disaster that is West Midlands Trains has been given a green light to keep on failing the travelling public.
Andy Street’s bid to bring Channel 4’s HQ to the West Midlands lost out to Leeds and his plans to bring Formula-E races to region haven’t got off the starting grid.
Highlighting three years of Tory failure, Labour’s Liam Byrne, said:
“In this new uncertain world, we need to build a new future for our region. But in three years, our Tory Mayor hasn’t made any real difference for ordinary families.
“It’s time we had a Mayor who will fight our corner with Government and not just accept the crumbs he’s given from Boris Johnson’s table.
“We can’t reward a failing Mayor with four more years - if we do we’ll fall further behind London and Manchester where strong Labour Mayors like Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham are taking their regions forward.
“The West Midlands could be the crucible of Britain's green industrial revolution. Bringing to our region the well-paid green manufacturing jobs of the future, low cost solar energy for citizens and clean air, whilst also tackling the scourge of knife crime that blights so many young lives.
“The challenges we face are great. That’s why the West Midlands needs a promise keeper, not a failing Mayor like Andy Street.”
Byrne has also announced that he will draw on inspiration from the region’s history as a pioneer of good housing in Bournville, and Andy Burnham’s Mayoral Development Corporation to create a ‘Green Development Corporation’ to build the affordable homes families need for the future - and end the scandal of homelessness.
The proposal is part of a plan to roll out the good work of Labour councils across the region to end rough sleeping.
Figures out later this week will show Labour-led Birmingham City Council have cut rough sleeping by more than almost any other area in the country by:
• Increasing the number of outreach workers and ensured they’re working across the city and not just in the city centre
• Rapid rehousing and more bed places
• Wrap around support to tackle the root causes of homelessness - mental ill health and addiction
Liam will support every area of the West Midlands to reduce rough sleeping too.
Announcing his plans for green council homes and tackling homelessness, Labour’s Liam Byrne, said:
“Ours was the region that transformed beautiful affordable housing when we built Bournville. Now we need to building the green council houses of the future, to tackle the crisis of affordable housing in our region, and create a new generation of well-paid, high skill jobs in the green construction sector.
“To tackle homelessness and rough sleeping I will support councils to increase the number of outreach workers. I will also help to increase wrap around support for mental ill health and addiction to tackle the root causes. Labour councils are making a huge difference, but that needs to be properly supported by a Labour Mayor.”