Bristol

Tory Tim Bowles sworn in as West of England mayor

Tim Bowles, Conservative
Image caption Conservative Tim Bowles said he would prioritise transport "to make it easier for people to get to work"

Conservative Tim Bowles has been sworn in as the first West of England combined authority mayor.

Mr Bowles beat Labour candidate Lesley Mansell following the second round of voting in Thursday's election.

He said the £1bn devolution deal meant the region "can now be much more ambitious".

He added it would also allow decisions to be taken for the West on issues such as homes, transport, business and jobs.

"Together we'll make decisions about what's best for all of our region," Mr Bowles said.

The £62,000 salaried post is part of government efforts to devolve more power to the regions over key issues such as planning and roads.

As part of the devolution deal, the West of England Combined Authority will be given £1bn over 30 years.

The metro mayor role covers the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset council areas.

Last June. North Somerset Council voted not to accept a single directly-elected "metro mayor"

The Conservative leader on North Somerset, Nigel Ashton, said at the time the deal was "not attractive enough".

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