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 convincing mandate.”

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.”