Stephen Williams has announced his plans for boosting growth and sharing the opportunities of the region’s strong local economy.
The Lib Dem candidate to be the regional mayor of the West of England has extensive experience in business, having worked with small companies across the region before entering politics and during his time as a local government minister and MP for Bristol.
Stephen Williams has already made sharing economic prosperity fairly a main priority for the election on 4th May, by tackling the lack of affordable housing and the woeful state of local public transport. He has now set out a package of measures to help the region’s economy thrive, including plans to:
- Establish Bristol and Bath as a national hub for the creative and digital industries, with new opportunities for growth at Temple Meads and Bath Quays
- Work with the Welsh government to make the Severn Estuary the world leader for clean energy from tidal lagoons and to scrap the Severn Bridge tolls
- Offer support for creative start-ups, high-tech businesses and for social enterprises
- Improve road connectivity with a new junction on the M4 to serve the Science Park, ensuring that villages north of the M4 are protected by a new direct link to Yate
- Help roll out broadband to all of the region’s villages
- Be a strong voice for the 30,000 workers from other EU countries that are essential to the West of England’s economy and public services and to press the government to avoid a hard Brexit, which will be deeply damaging to the local economy.
The Liberal Democrats will be publishing a full regional manifesto, entitled ‘Together, with One Voice’, at the end of March.
Announcing the plans, Stephen Williams said:
“I am the only candidate in this election putting forward credible proposals to boost the region’s local economy. The Bristol and Bath cities region economy is already the most prosperous in England outside London. My ambition is to make Bristol, Bath and the West of England the most dynamic, pleasant and sustainable place to live, work, invest and visit.
“The Liberal Democrats know that if we want to support the most vulnerable and give people the opportunity to succeed, we need a strong, growing, stable local economy. That means building a sustainable economy, fit for the future, alongside a thriving business community and one based on an internationally-minded outlook. My plans will unlock the region’s full potential, help create high quality jobs and give our young people the chance of a better future.
“This election is a clear choice between me and the inexperienced, Brexit-defending Tory candidate and I will bring together Bath, North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire together, with one voice.”