West Midlands mayor 'should be paid £79,000 salary'

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Birmingham skylineImage source, PA/David Jones
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Birmingham and neighbouring towns and cities are set to be represented by an elected mayor for the West Midlands

The first elected Mayor of the West Midlands should be paid £79,000 a year, an independent panel has recommended.

The panel, which consists of representatives from the seven authority members, said the figure should be reassessed after a few years.

One candidate said he planned to keep only £29,000 of the wage, but another said the £79,000 pay packet sounded "about right".

The authority will consider the recommendation at its 3 March meeting.

'Commitment to the region'

The report said the allowance should be revisited in two to three years' time when the responsibilities of the role have become clearer.

Of the five candidates, two - Sion Simon, for Labour, and Pete Durnell, for UKIP, did not comment.

Andy Street, the Conservative candidate, said he believed the mayor's pay should be performance related.

What powers would the elected mayor have?

  • Chairing the West Midlands Combined Authority, which will receive £36m a year from the government for 30 years
  • Control over a devolved transport budget for the region, agreed by central government
  • Responsibility for local bus franchises
  • Maintaining major roads and managing a key route network for the area
  • More control over planning rules and approving the building of new homes

Beverley Nielsen, the Liberal Democrat candidate, said: "The salary being reported sounds about right.

"However, this is not about salary, it's about commitment to the region and using the experience you have built up in your career that will contribute to making this a better place."

James Burn, the Green party candidate, said he would only keep the average wage of the West Midlands - £29,000 - and would use the remainder to help develop less well-off areas.

"Only when those areas get richer will I allow myself to be paid more," he said.

The West Midlands will be one of six devolved regions in England.

Greater Manchester; Liverpool and Merseyside; the North East; South Yorkshire; and Tees Valley are also set to be run by elected mayors.

Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton are all set to be full members of the new authority.

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