Mansfield MP Ben Bradley confirms he wants to be the new East Midlands mayor

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Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has entered the race to be the Conservative candidate to be the first elected East Midlands mayor.

Coun Bradley made the announcement in an online column for the Daily Telegraph.

The current Mansfield MP is also the leader of Nottinghamshire Council and member for Mansfield North and has already previously announced his intention to stand again for Mansfield seat at the next general election.

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Coun Bradley said: “This is a really big opportunity for our region to bring in billions in investment, and to sort out the long-term underfunding that we’ve had relative to other parts of the UK.

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has announced he wants to be the new East Midlands mayorMansfield MP Ben Bradley has announced he wants to be the new East Midlands mayor
Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has announced he wants to be the new East Midlands mayor

"We only get to do that once, and to spend it once, so it’s really important that we pick the right person.

"I’ve obviously been involved throughout, both in terms of negotiating the deal and doing the work locally as a council leader, and also in the policy and legislation in Government, so I think I’m ideally placed to deliver the outcomes we need.

"No other candidate will have the same level of engagement and understanding of what this is, and how it will work, that I have.

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“Initially the role comes with powers over things like transport, economic development and skills in particular.

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"These are all big opportunities for residents; to bring in great businesses and high quality jobs, to offer the skills and training to take those jobs, and also to ensure we have good, joined up public transport to get people there.

"All of that together is a game changer for life chances and opportunities for local people, so that’s the goal. It also looks at housing, and particularly with incentives to deliver on brownfield land and protect green spaces.

"I think we could work with councils to move beyond just expanding our towns and villages forever and instead look at how we deliver a more strategic and long term plan for housing, getting the right infrastructure in place and making it sustainable rather than just keep tacking more and more homes on the sides of towns that can’t cope with it.“In the longer term, once we have this in place, we can go back and ask for more clout to tackle key priorities.

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"I want us to get in to real public services reform and to change the way we do things to offer better services for residents.

"That means getting councils to work together better, removing ring-fences and barriers that exist now that prevent us spending money effectively, and also asking Government for further devolved funds, rather than having to exhaust time and funding bidding into national pots with no guarantee of success.

"We can just make better use of our money in general, and improve local services.

Were he to become mayor, Coun Bradley would no longer be a sitting councillor.

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"He continued: “You can’t be a county councillor and also the mayor, so if I’m elected then that council role would end.

"With regards to being an MP, we don’t know when the general election will be yet, so I will come back to that one in due course.”

Mr Bradley is the latest to announce his intentions to run for the new mayoral role after several contenders have already announced their intentions to run for the Labour candidacy.