Campaigners have reacted with disbelief to the news that Tory Mayor Andy Street has only managed to build a total of 1 1/4 mile of tram track in his last year as Mayor.
The revelation was one of many buried in the Mayor’s Annual Accounts, slated for discussion by West Midland’s regional leaders this Friday (November 20th”).
The report boasted that the Tory Mayor’s number one transport achievement in the last year was that he had ‘completed 2km of new Metro track’. It also reveals £123 million of projects - that could have helped create 7,500 local jobs in the West Midlands - have been delayed.
Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Mayor for the West Midlands, said;
“This report lays bare just how calamitous a failure the Tory Mayor’s time in office has been.
“Our Tory mayor never misses a photo opp - but this report shows why we have to check the small print. There are literally snails that cover four times more ground in a day than our Tory mayor lays tram track.
“We need a Mayor who stands up for our region, not simply stands by. We need shovels in the ground, building the tram-lines and transport infrastructure we need to get our region back on the move. With unemployment soaring to levels last seen in the 1980s, we need action now, not more promises of jam tomorrow.
“The Tory Mayor’s failure to drive these projects through is a dereliction of duty’.
The tram track fiasco follows the revelation that the Tory Mayor has failed to secure a staggering 95% of the money requested from Boris Johnson’s Government to help keep the heart of England working.
In documents released to Liam Byrne, the Mayor’s Investment Programme management accounts showed delays in investing the capital budget had now mounted to 39% of the total budget of £313 million.
The delays in particular hit transport projects (£72 million), grants to Councils (£26 million) and delays to investment in new housing (£25 million).
Liam Byrne added:
“The Tory Mayor’s inaction has real life consequences.
“The International Monetary Fund calculates that every pound of public investment creates between 90p and £1.70 of additional economic growth , which means the delays in spending has taken up to £209 million out of the regional economy at a time when unemployment is soaring.
“That’s the equivalent of 7,500 jobs at the average West Midlands salary of £28,000.”
Notes to editors
The news that the Tory Mayor has failed to secure 95% of the money needed from central Government to help keep the region working was revealed from a previously secret briefing report extracted from the Mayor by Cllr Lisa Trickett, the Chair of the Combined Authority’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
The report revealed only 5.4% of the £3.2 billion recovery plan has been awarded to the region.
The briefing revealed:
- 99% of the £550 million budget to ’Get People back to work’ has not been granted
- Just £1.5m has been received to back the region’s businesses in response to a plea for £532 million
- The bid for ‘brownfield sites and new homes’ totalled £694 million - but 86% of the money was not been awarded
- Of the £614 million sought for ‘Green Manufacturing,’ only 2.3% of the ask has been granted.
- Over 90% of the bid for ‘Investing in Healthcare’ ask of £137 million has not been granted
Full analysis here: https://liambyrnemp.co.uk/content/west-midlands-unemployment-soars-tory-government-choke-recovery-funds