Conservative West of England Mayor Tim Bowles has announced that after nearly 20 years of political service in the West of England, he intends to retire at the end of the present Mayoral term.
Mr Bowles, who has held the Regional Mayor role for the past four years, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the West of England as a councillor and as the region’s first Metro Mayor.
“I am proud of the track record of bringing our communities together so everyone can benefit from the skilled jobs, quality of life and new opportunities our area is home to.
“The Combined Authority has brought hundreds of millions of pounds to the region and seen major improvements that benefit every single person.
“We’re getting the region moving with a proper transport system that cuts congestion and improves air quality. Creating the MetroWest rail network, extending Metrobus and developing our regional mass transit scheme are all the sort of long-term investments and strategic decisions that the West of England has been crying out for but simply couldn’t agree to make in the past.
“Now they are happening because we have a Combined Authority and a regional Mayor. We’re creating safe routes for people to cycle and walk and bringing e-scooters to the region so that people have options in how they get around.
“We’re backing the technologies of the future to create well-paid jobs through our 5G test-bed, Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation initiative and my newly launched Business Innovation Fund and made sure that we’re nurturing our home-grown talent to get those jobs.
He continued: “My flagship Future Bright scheme has already helped more than 700 families improve their job and career prospects, and that’s supported by our funding for Adult Education and by putting careers and enterprise advisors in every school in the region – something I am particularly proud of.
“And I’ve made sure that we’ve accelerated the support our businesses and job creators have needed during these unprecedented times through the West of England Growth Hub and our Invest Bristol and Bath team, with an ambitious recovery plan to come back strongly from the pandemic and build back better bringing the decent, well paid jobs of the future to our region.
“But most of all I am pleased of the impact on the families right across the West of England that have benefited from the 4,000 new jobs and 13,000 new qualifications that have come as a direct result of extra funding that we have in the region, simply because we have a Combined Authority.
“I am proud of all of these achievements and this track record of success, but now I would like to take the opportunity to pursue some other interests and do those things which have had to take a back seat for so many years.
“I am incredibly grateful to the fantastic team at the West of England Combined Authority who have helped make these successes possible.”