The Guardian writer is arguing that the new Mayor must unite a divided West Midlands? What is your view?
The Guardian’s Stuart Jeffries explores concerns that many voters are uncertain about how the new West Midlands Combined Authority mayor can contribute to improving such a large and varied area.
Voters don’t know who the candidates are, or what they stand for, he claims, and notes a recent quote from the Economist to underline the region’s divisions: “Central Birmingham would pass for Boston, Massachusetts, its poorer outskirts for the less fashionable districts of Bucharest”.
The snap general election could make West Midlands electors vote over national issues rather than the mayoral candidates’ policies, Jefferies adds, with one retired teacher he interviews asking what a new mayor can do “that the existing local authorities can’t”. The overwhelming challenge for the mayor, he concludes, is to ensure the West Midlands’ most deprived residents don’t get left out of the “uber-narrative of multilingual bankers in Range Rovers”.