Deputy Editor Kirstie Sutherland reports on a magnitude 4.4 earthquake which has affected parts of the West Midlands, including UoB's main campus.Written by Kirstie Sutherland on 17th February 2018
Conservative Andy Street Elected West Midlands Mayor
Former John Lewis boss Andy Street has been elected as the first West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor
Despite holding a very narrow lead in the first round over Labour’s Sion Simon, Street was elected after the second votes were added.
In the first round, Street received 43% of the vote, and ended up with 6,000 more votes than the Labour candidate, meaning that the margin of victory was only 1%.
“'The University of Birmingham welcomes the Mayor’s commitment to accelerating inclusive economic growth'
In a statement, Sir David Eastwood, University of Birmingham’s Vice-Chancellor, congratulated Street for a ‘historic’ and ‘significant’ win.
‘The University of Birmingham welcomes the Mayor’s commitment to accelerating inclusive economic growth, developing skills, improving transportation, and to providing the West Midlands with a strong voice nationally and internationally,’ Eastwood said.
‘Civic engagement is at the heart of the University of Birmingham’s mission. It is in this spirit that we look forward to working closely with Andy to seize further opportunities that can deliver positive change for the West Midlands region'.
Mr Street gave up his business career in order to run for the position. His election campaign is reported to have cost almost £1 million.
In Birmingham, Simon was the comfortable victor beating Street by over 20,000 votes, however the rest of the region voted considerably more for the Conservative candidate.
The West Midlands was not the only region to gain a Conservative mayor in yesterday’s elections. Four of the six new mayoral positions have been won by Conservative candidates including the Tees Valley and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.
Greater Manchester was one region were Labour managed to buck the trend of heavy losses experienced in the rest of the country as Andy Burnham was elected mayor. Liverpool City Region also saw a comfortable Labour victory without needing to consider voter’s second preferences at all.
Thursday 4th May was also a day for many of the council elections which saw a similar trend of Labour losing out while the Conservatives gained positions. Nonetheless the biggest loser of the day was UKIP who after the days elections were left without any council seats.
Overall only 26% of voters turned out at the polling station with the vast majority of eligible voters not participating in the vote.