Samuel Williams has been selected as the Conservative candidate for next Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority, or WECA for short.
Made up of the WECA Mayor plus the Leaders of the local authorities in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and BANES, WECA is the regional body which directs how hundreds of millions of pounds of central Government budget is spent on infrastructure, training, inward investment and housing in our region.
"I am delighted to be standing as the Conservative candidate for the Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority. As a business leader and charity campaigner, born near here, and now living with my young family in the south of Bristol, I have a dynamic vision for our region.
"As Mayor my job will be to support South Gloucestershire, Bristol, and Bath & North East Somerset through and beyond the Covid economic recovery. I will strengthen our region's green credentials; secure the delivery of a free port in Avonmouth; and ensure that all our region's towns, villages and rural areas see improved transport links, including building more train stations with better services.
"I will prioritise enabling the region to become a leading light in growing an ecologically sustainable and commercially viable economy. With the establishment of a Collaborative Growth forum, business can develop a collaborative approach to regional growth alongside other stakeholders.
"Having grown up just over the WECA border in rural Gloucestershire, I also know the impact of under-supported rural areas and will make it a priority to ensure that towns, villages and rural areas are supported with better transport links. I will expand MetroBus, train, and park and ride services to deliver this. The drive towards decarbonisation and reduced need for personal private vehicles is also a policy I fully support and will help to achieve as Mayor of the West of England.
"Greater investment in our high streets is also needed, ensuring that they have the necessary infrastructure they need to recover and grow."