By KLTV Newsdesk
Tracy Brabin MP has today launched her bid to become West Yorkshire’s new Mayor, pledging to make the region ‘the best place to live, work and raise a family’.
Writing in the Yorkshire Post, the MP for Batley and Spen opened her campaign by highlighting job creation, housing, and the region’s creaking transport infrastructure as core points of her platform.
The former Coronation Street actress became an MP in 2016 following the tragic murder of her friend, Jo Cox. She grew up in the constituency on a local council estate in Howden Clough.
Brabin is the latest public figure to announce her candidacy for the position of Mayor.
Other declared candidates so far include:
- Hugh Goulbourne, a local Lawyer and Business Ambassador
- Paula Sherriff, the former MP for Dewsbury
- Andrew Cooper, the Green Party Group Leader on Kirklees Council
- Bob Buxton, Leader of the Yorkshire Party
Investment in the Region
In a swipe at the Conservative Government, Brabin said that fast-tracking post-COVID19 recovery through economic cuts would not work.
She pledged investment in climate jobs and a new green economy alongside a plan to bring creative industry and arts investment to the region.
Brabin further highlighted her work as MP in the region, including having successfully campaigned to secure 30 hours per week of free childcare for foster children, securing £1.2 million from the Government to allow West Yorkshire Police to investigate historic sex crimes, and successfully campaigning to reverse hospital bed cuts.
In her constituency, she negotiated a late evening bus service between Leeds and Batley and has established Batley and Spen Youth Theatre, which connects West End professionals with local children to provide skills and training.
The role of West Yorkshire Mayor has been established as part of a devolution deal with the Government that will see a range of powers and responsibilities transferred to the Mayor and Combined Authority of Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.
The deal also includes a £1.8 billion investment to drive up living standards through better transport, improved skills, stronger businesses, and tackle the climate emergency.
‘Not a Traditional Politician’
Commenting on her candidacy, Tracy Brabin said: “I want to do politics differently here in West Yorkshire. I’m born and bred here and am so incredibly proud to represent my home as an MP.
“But I look at what’s happening in Westminster and the mess this government is making of things, and I’ve decided I want to do my bit in making sure people in West Yorkshire are heard right now not only during this crisis, but also that we get what we need when it comes to economic recovery because we cannot cut our way out of this crisis.
“Too many areas of our region have been forgotten for too long – we need investment in jobs, transport, housing, and skills for young people and those who need to retrain – these will be my priorities.
“I’m not your traditional politician, I’ve come to politics through a lot of real-life experiences. I’ve worked in insecure jobs, worried about paying the bills, and I’ve had a wonderful career in acting and writing.
“I can bring something different to this role, I’ll be a different sort of Mayor who listens in order to lead and who isn’t distant in a City Hall somewhere, but right there at the grassroots with the people and communities I grew up in.”
Elections for the regions first Mayor will take place on 6 May 2021 by public supplementary vote.