On cusp of great things as HS2 work starts


mayor ad­dressed some of the chal­lenges still fac­ing the West Mid­lands, such as youth unem­ploy­ment, rough sleep­ing, men­tal health prob­lems and lone­li­ness for older peo­ple. He urged his party to ‘step up and tackle’ such is­sues if they are to ‘truly be a party for ev­ery­body’.

He also re­vealed the West Mid­lands will re­ceive £20 mil­lion in gov­ern­ment money to cre­ate the UK’s first-ever ‘Fu­ture Mo­bil­ity Area’, tri­alling such things as mo­bil­ity as a ser­vice, car shar­ing and elec­tric bikes.

Mr Street gave his full back­ing to the Prime Min­is­ter, pitch­ing for more of the pow­ers taken back from Brus­sels to be de­volved to the re­gions, rather than just handed back to cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

“I want those pow­ers com­ing back from Brus­sels to the West Mid­lands, not to White­hall,” he said.

“For our coun­try to thrive we need our great cities and re­gions to be set free. With bold new ideas, courage in the face of ad­ver­sity, com­mit­ted lead­er­ship, and a vi­sion for our great coun­try, we can de­liver for every­one.”

Mr Street also touched on some of the re­gion’s re­cent suc­cesses, such its win­ning of the 5G bid, while thank­ing mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment for their help with projects such as the Mid­lands Metro Hospi­tal, the Com­mon­wealth Games and HS2.

> Dig­gers be­gin work at the site for Cur­zon Street Sta­tion, which is due to wel­come HS2 in 2026

> Theresa May ‘danced’ her way on to stage to the strains of Abba

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