Andy Street 100 Days: 6 Tory Failures
1. Failure to tackle congestion – traffic misery and M6 Toll price hike.
Mr Simon said: “Motorists continue to suffer hours of delays on their daily commute. The half empty M6 Toll was sold to a new operator, who has now hiked toll fees by 7%.
“On both occasions, on behalf of West Midlands drivers, Andy Street said and did precisely nothing.
“He is on the side of the private profiteers who buy and sell the road with no care for the West Midlands; and the Tory government who don't want him to rock the boat.
“Street has rebadged an existing employee as a ‘congestion tsar’, but done nothing at all to actually stand up for the West Midlands.
2. Failure on youth unemployment – real jobs not Mayoral talking shops.
Mr Simon said: “Youth unemployment remains at shockingly high levels in the West Midlands after seven years of Tory cuts and neglect.
“The Tories don’t care about our young people, otherwise they’d offer guaranteed apprenticeships with real value to school leavers.
“Mentors are all very well - and he hasn't even delivered them - but what our young people need is better training and real jobs. It’s another case of all talk no action from Andy Street.”
3. Failure on Brexit and trade – refuses to outline negotiating position for region.
Mr Simon said: “As Andy Street’s Tory friends in London continue their internal squabbles, Britain heads towards the EU exit door with no plan, at risk of crashing out of the single market without a plan B.
“We need real leadership that will fight for the particular needs of the West Midlands. Our jobs, manufacturing, and regional economy depend on it. Where is the West Midlands Brexit action plan after 100 days? Or even a direction of travel? Nowhere in both cases, he has no idea what to do.”
“If he thinks a trade mission to Canada is what West Midlands people are crying out for, then he's badly out of touch. ”
4. Failure on Channel 4 bid.
Mr Simon said: “Stage-managed events are no substitute for the real transparency we were promised by the Tory Mayor. He pledged to be knocking on the door of Downing Street to get Channel 4 to move here – but we’re yet to see any evidence of action.
“Andy Street promised us Channel 4, but the signs are not good. If we don't get it, the failure, and its dire consequences, will lie squarely at his door."
5. Failure on homelessness – taskforces instead of real action.
Mr Simon said: “Homelessness continues to rise under the Tories and it’s time for Andy Street to make a real intervention. Taskforces are not action, so what has he actually done?
“Homelessness in the West Midlands is a direct result of Tory Government policies on housing funding, housing benefit, homelessness support, funding for victims of domestic violence, people with mental health issues, people with dependency issues.
“So what has Andy Street done or said to stand up to the Tory government on behalf of West Midlands people? Precisely nothing.
“Has he spoken out against a single one of these Tory policies which are known to be the causes of homelessness? No. He's on their side not ours. ”
6. Failure on diversity – top team doesn’t represent our region.
Mr Simon said: “Andy Street has appointed a leadership team in his image, selected from the higher echelons of council bureaucracy. It’s appalling how little his team represents the wonderful diversity of our region.
“Tories always do this. They have an arrogant disdain for BAME representation. Andy Street is one of them, not one of us.”