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Campaign launched to encourage public to vote for new East Midlands Mayor for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire





A £4 billion investment in the future of the East Midlands will be guided by a public vote — and a campaign has been launched to encourage people to head to the polls.

Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, Derbyshire and Derby are set to recieve investment in transport, skills, housing after setting up a combined county authority covering the region.

What the combined authority does and what the priorities for the government-allocated funding are will be led by a mayor — and the public get to decide who that mayor is.

The East Midlands Combined County Authority. Credit: Nottinghamshire County Council
The East Midlands Combined County Authority. Credit: Nottinghamshire County Council

The first ever election for a Mayor of the East Midlands — set to cost £4million — will take place on Thursday, May 2, after central government agreed to give up some of its powers and transfer them to the mayor and combined county authority through a landmark devolution deal agreed in 2022.

Standing for election are Conservative candidate Ben Bradley, Labour candidate Claire Ward, Ashfield Independent candidate Matt Relf, Reform candidate and Derby mayor Alan Graves, and Green Party candidate Frank Adlington-Stringer.

Conservative candidate Ben Bradley, Labour candidate Claire Ward, and Ashfield Independent candidate Matt Relf at an opening debate earlier this year. Credit: LDRS
Conservative candidate Ben Bradley, Labour candidate Claire Ward, and Ashfield Independent candidate Matt Relf at an opening debate earlier this year. Credit: LDRS
Green Party candidate Frank Adlington-Stringer. Credit: LDRS
Green Party candidate Frank Adlington-Stringer. Credit: LDRS

The campaign to encourage voting is based on the shift of powers from Westminster to the East Midlands, with the slogan ‘here, not there’ it promotes the powers the mayor will have to take big decisions about the future of the East Midlands ‘here’ in the region rather than ‘there’ in London.

Mark Rogers, interim chief executive of the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA), said: “This is a big deal in every sense. It’s on a scale that the East Midlands hasn’t seen before, and gives it the powers and resources it needs to turn round under-investment, tackle challenges and open up massive new opportunities for people and places.

“This is all about bringing power back to the East Midlands, and the most significant part of that process is the vote — the people will decide who’ll lead this transformation.”

Mark Rogers, interim chief executive of the East Midlands Combined County Authority.
Mark Rogers, interim chief executive of the East Midlands Combined County Authority.

The move means that the East Midlands will be on an equal footing with areas like the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire, where elected mayors have secured similar large-scale investment pots.

It aims to give the region a voice at the national table and make the case for much greater investment from both government and the private sector.

The East Midlands deal is one of the biggest so far, and the team setting up the combined county authority say the mayor will have the powers and resources to begin a long-term process of growing the region’s economy by investing in skills that lead to better jobs, transport that works better across the region, housing where it’s needed and an economy equipped to deal with net zero.

The combined county authority is being formed by Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council, and was developed in partnership with district and borough councils across the two counties.

Leaders and deputy leaders from each authority will sit on the combined county authority, and will be advised by specialists from different parts of the community.

This includes a business advisory board that will be developed by the interim representative for business, David Williams, who chairs the law firm Geldards, which has a major office presence in both Nottingham and Derby.

The inaugural meeting of the East Midlands Combined County Authority was held at Chesterfield Town Hall on March 20. Credit: LDRS
The inaugural meeting of the East Midlands Combined County Authority was held at Chesterfield Town Hall on March 20. Credit: LDRS

He said: “This is going to make a huge difference to the East Midlands and there’s a clear emphasis on investing in projects and places that are going to support a long-term improvement to people’s lives.

“This is why it’s so important that everyone out there has their say. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest billions of pounds in people’s futures — so our people need to decide who they want to make the key decisions.”

The role of the new authority is to invest in ways that suit the East Midlands, making it easier to travel across different East Midlands transport networks, matching skills to the region's businesses, enabling house building and land regeneration where it’s needed and exploiting the region’s strengths in net zero technologies to create a robust, renewable energy system.

The authority is being funded by government and will not take money away from existing council budgets.



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