You may not think a mayor of the West Midlands is a good thing. We’re getting one on Thursday anyway. The mayor might not yet have all the powers we need to take back that control from Westminster, the devolution deal might not be a real deal for the people of the region. But the mayor will have powers, they’ll have influence, they’ll represent you to the country and the world – and they’ll do that soon after the close of polls on 4th May. There will be choice on your ballot paper, and the choice will be between someone on the side of central government and someone who isn’t. Is central government policy working for Birmingham and the West Midlands? A glance around at the people sleeping on the streets, the closed libraries, the lengthening hospital waiting lists say it isn’t.

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