Sir Vince Cable has given his support to Stephen Williams as the Lib Dem West of England mayoral candidate today, saying that Williams's economic plans would lead to a “thriving, sustainable and attractive place to live and work”.
Stephen Williams has already set out a package of measures to invest in the region’s local economy, 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.
Vince Cable, the former Business Secretary and Lib Dem MP for Twickenham, said:
"Stephen has set out an ambitious and deliverable plan, which will ensure the region remains a thriving, sustainable and attractive place to live and work. His plans for investment is great news for increasing prosperity in the region – helping local people find skilled jobs through increased investment in training and helping local businesses grow into the future.
"This election is a chance for people to send a strong message against a hard Brexit that damages local jobs by pulling Britain out of the Single Market. The Tories have destroyed their reputation for economic competence and Labour are focused entirely on in-fighting.
"The Liberal Democrats are the only party taking this election seriously. We are united, focused and in Stephen Williams the Lib Dems have selected a credible candidate with years’ worth of experience, who is respected by businesses and voters across the region."
Stephen Williams added:
"I want to encourage local businesses, large and small, to talk to me about their Brexit worries and if elected as the first West of England Mayor I would lobby the Government directly about what their businesses need from any Brexit deal.
"I'm proud to have been selected as the candidate for the Liberal Democrats, the only party fighting to protect the region’s economy by staying in the Single Market. This election is a clear choice between me and the inexperienced, Brexit-defending Tory candidate and I will bring Bath, North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, together, with one voice."
To read Stephen Williams's preview of his plans for a prosperous and sustainable West of England economy, see here: https://stephenwilliamsmp.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/my-plans-for-a-prosperous-and-sustainable-west-of-england-economy/. The full version will be available shortly.
To read Stephen Williams’s proposals for buses see http://www.stephenwilliams.org.uk/my_plan_for_west_of_england_buses.