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David Smeeton and John Keyes give their view on the new Metro Mayors

David Smeeton, Head of Cushman & Wakefield’s Birmingham Investment team, comments on the election of Andy Street as the first Midlands Metro Mayor:

“The outcome of the Mayoral Election was always going to be a close run affair with the polls indicating little between the two principal candidates. However, few thought that Andy Street could actually pull off a victory here and his win is hugely significant for the region going forward. As stated by the Centre For Cities, the Mayor will need a ‘vision for the city region with clear strategic decisions to meet it’. Andy’s manifesto has clear aims and objectives which perhaps will be achievable over a period of his three-year term. However, in the short term he needs quick wins. Transport is key. Moving everybody and everything we produce more efficiently has to be improved as our regional economy continues to grow. Andy’s close links to the Prime Minister will make him our voice both nationally and internationally and he has to hit the skills agenda hard, forging improved links between businesses, schools, universities and all the other higher education facilities.”

John Keyes, Head of Cushman & Wakefield’s Manchester office, comments on the election of Andy Burnham as the first Greater Manchester Metro Mayor:

“We welcome the progress of devolution in the North West and the election of Metro Mayors for our major conurbations. Our city regions need a strategic approach and greater autonomy from Whitehall. National policies and funding formulas rarely serve the best interests of our towns and cities.

The Metro Mayors will have a critical role to play in championing their city regions with government. In Greater Manchester, in particular, devolution and the mayor is a logical development based on many years of collaborative working across local authority boundaries.

Andy Burnham has said he is positive about development but that it needs to be of good quality and in the right place. The industry will be watching carefully to see how he takes forward the Greater Manchester Spatial Strategy, given his stated reservations during the campaign. We want him to make this a priority and to avoid undue delays that can so often blight development.

We hope the new Mayors will find ways to engage with the property industry and listen to our views. The industry has been at the heart of the region’s success over the last 20 years and we want to work with the Metro Mayors to continue the success story.”