It is no surprise that our region continues to grow and develop when we are fortunate enough to live in one of England’s most beautiful and diverse areas. It is now time for us to develop a regional vision that moves beyond siloed thinking and starts to meet the needs of our growing communities for now and the years to come.
I am the only candidate that can spearhead this vision, connecting our region and unlocking investment. I will take up the mantle and drive forward the Spatial Development Plan, which will set out a far-reaching 20-year vision for the future of our villages, towns, cities, and spaces. As part of this strategy and my commitment to the West of England, I pledge to set the course to meet our vision for over 100,000 new homes by 2040. However it is not enough to simply build new homes, these homes must be both sustainable and affordable to those who live within them. Therefore I will launch the Building a Brighter World Award incentivising innovation in modern methods of construction, decarbonisation and meeting housing need whilst also attracting inward investment. Communities not dormitories will be the guiding vision, as developments will prioritise mixed use spaces and connected services.
Democratization will also be key; as the West of England Mayor I will give you; the residents a say prioritising Community Led housing projects wherever possible. Under the umbrella of the Spatial Development Plan, residents will be able to inform and invest in the development of your communities, working in collaboration with developers, Councils and WECA to ensure locality is always at the forefront of these new ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ meaning we can live, work and shop without having to travel significant distances.
I am resolutely committed to protecting, decarbonising, and conserving our precious green spaces. I will prioritise the regeneration of brownfield sites, making the most of our underused spaces building upon and taking further the work of WECA thus far. It is important that we invest in Modern Methods of Development, low carbon construction and sustainable technologies both for new and to retrofit current properties. That why I will work closely with government to unlock investment so that we can become a leading light in a sustainable future.
I am sensitive to the problem of homelessness that continues to proliferate within our communities. As West of England Mayor, I will not shy away from this task. I will work closely with the Next Steps Accommodation Programme and I am pleased this Conservative Government has delivered Millions to tackle homelessness head on across the region. I commit the over £40 million dedicated to speed up building and meet the needs of all our communities between now and 2023. We have a lot of work to be do and it is time that we roll up our sleeves and get stuck in to allow everyone access to the home they rightfully deserve.
Strong Conservative leadership will not risk our recovery. It will build back better for the entirety of the West of England.