Elections 2021: Andy Street makes job creation top priority

image captionMr Street would like the region to have more power over its investments, skills and training

Andy Street says job creation will be his "single biggest priority" in his second term as West Midlands Mayor.

The Conservative mayor spoke to BBC Politics Midlands after being re-elected on Saturday.

Mr Street, a former managing director of John Lewis, said the region needed to regain momentum after its economy took a "horrible hit" from coronavirus.

He beat Labour's Liam Byrne in a second preference count as the Tories made big gains in the region.

Mr Street, 57, received a total of 314,669 votes, while Mr Byrne picked up 267,626 votes for second place.

An estimated 100,000 people across Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry are thought to have lost their jobs since the pandemic's start.

Mr Street said he would start by looking at how current plans for job creation were progressing.

"That's probably the single biggest priority tomorrow, first day back in the office - making sure our plans for jobs really come good. That's what people will judge us on," he said.

He said the aim included finding momentum in new areas of work, as the region comes out of the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Street said improving and investing in public transport was linked to this and was also "absolutely critical".

The mayor said he was also focusing on bringing more power to the region, particularly in the area of skills and training so "we can link with the new job opportunities" and added there had already been some progress in this area.

He would also like the region to have more power over its finances.

Following the result, Mr Street, who was first elected in 2017, thanked "everyone who has put their faith in me".

The election saw a 31% turnout of eligible voters.

Also running, but eliminated after the first preference votes, were Steve Caudwell for the Green Party, Pete Durnell for Reform UK and Liberal Democrat Jenny Wilkinson.

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Note: This lookup covers national elections in Scotland and Wales, the Hartlepool by-election, as well as council and mayoral elections in England and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales. There may be parish council elections or council by-elections where you are. Check your local council website for full details. Last updated: May 11, 2021, 12:35 GMT

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