The Conservative candidate to become the first elected mayor of the West Midlands has indicated securing more funding for transport projects will be a top priority.
In a high profile slot before prime minister Theresa May addressed the Conservative conference yesterday, Andy Street took to the stage to stake his claim to become West Midlands mayor.
The managing director of John Lewis said he was giving up his job because he “could not see this opportunity pass by”.
Mr Street said his “guiding aim” would be to make the West Midlands “the regional economic powerhouse of Britain”.
More than £1,800 per head is spent on transport in London compared to £266 in the West Midlands, said Mr Street.
“As mayor, addressing this imbalance will be a priority,” he said.
Mr Street added “raising the aspirations of our young people is even more critical”.
Based on the last general election results a 4% swing to the Conservatives would secure the party victory, said Mr Street.
Should “urban Conservativism” win “it will provide a blueprint” for the party’s future, said Mr Street.
Mr Street’s main rival in the mayoral contest is likely to be Labour MEP Siôn Simon.