Lib Dem mayoral candidate Stephen Williams made the rallying cry at a crowded event at St Matthews Church in Kingsdown on Tuesday night.
The hall was packed full of Lib Dem supporters, reflecting the surge in local party membership since the EU referendum last year. The event was a chance for members to discuss with Stephen Williams his key priorities for the new position, a role that will be as powerful as the Mayor of London. After an evening of lively discussions with many new members making a big contribution, he explained his focus as the West of England Mayor would cover four areas:
- Boosting growth in the local economy, guaranteeing prosperity is shared fairly across the region
- Increasing the number of affordable homes and ensuring new homes are built with enhanced bus and rail services
- Delivering sustainable transport, including cashless payments on buses, more park and ride services and expansion of local rail services, with extra services for Yate and new stations at Ashley Down, Charfield and Saltford
- Improving employability and opportunities for local residents, by tackling the gender imbalance in some apprenticeships and long term worklessness in parts of Bristol and Bath
The party is holding similar events in Bath and South Gloucestershire over the next couple of weeks and the Lib Dem candidate Stephen Williams has already been made the bookies’ favourite to win the election on 4th May. He studied history at the University of Bristol and has extensive experience in business, having worked with small companies across the region. He is also a former Bristol MP and local government minister, a role with which he successfully pioneered a programme for delivering new homes that save residents hundreds of pounds in fuel bills and cut carbon emissions.
Speaking at the event, Stephen Williams said:
“This election is a clear choice between me and the inexperienced, Brexit-backing Tory candidate.
“The Lib Dems and I are determined to fight to deliver the positive change our area desperately needs. We are poised and ready to fight an upbeat campaign, ambitious for our region. We know we can make a difference in people’s lives and we will never give up fighting for our local communities. We bring people together, we believe in the value of community and we know that when people work together they can create great things.
“Up and down the country people are listening to the Lib Dems again. If elected I will work to grow our economy in a sustainable way and I will prioritise affordable homes and decent public transport. Bristol will be better off with a Lib Dem Mayor of the West of England. Even the bookies agree!”