A Bristol commercial property expert has
warned the West of England Combined Authority Mayoral Election on Thursday May
4th may have been undermined by the announcement of a General
Election in June.
Tim Davies, head of the
Bristol office of Colliers International, said: “The election for the new metro
mayor was just beginning to get some momentum, but I worry that this important
vote may have been overtaken by another important vote.
“As a result I believe
there is an increasing concern in the local business community that there has
been a loss of interest in the Metro Mayor election here in the West.”
“In fact, there is an
argument that the Metro Mayor election is more important to local people than
the General Election. I say this because the ultimate decision taken by the
voting public will directly impact on what happens in our area.
“It is essential that
the new Metro Mayor can deliver a coherent plan to drive the local economy and
bring even greater prosperity to our region. Devolution is coming to the West
irrespective and this will bring over £1 billion in investment, a significant
proportion of which will be used to bring forward infrastructure projects to
improve access in the region and drive prosperity.
“According to the polls, the General Election is
set to be a ‘blue wash’ with a decisive Conservative victory. By contrast, the
way in which people vote for a West of England Mayor will be vital – both in
terms of choosing a leader of the right calibre, and in terms of ensuring a
Mr Davies added he was very much aware of positive
economic effects of the Northern Powerhouse through his work at commercial
property specialist Colliers International
“The experience of my colleagues at the Manchester
office of Colliers International has been that devolution has brought
streamlined decision-making, greater investment and subsequent economic
growth,” he said.
“There is every reason to expect that the same will
happen here in the West, and it is essential that devolution gets off to a good
start with voters engaging from the outset at the ballot box.”