East Midlands Mayor to put region 'on the map' as people urged to vote in historic election

Nottingham's Old Market Square pictured on a sunny day
The new East Midlands Mayor will cover all of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

The new East Midlands Mayor is set to put the region "on the map" as people across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire are urged to go and vote. Many remain sceptical of plans for the new mayor, being elected on Thursday (May 2), but others say they believe it is "really important" that they have their say.

The Mayor will lead the new East Midlands Combined County Authority - a new organisation covering Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The authority has been given extensive powers currently held by Westminster, meaning it will be able to take decisions on issues including local transport and housing.

To take advantage of these powers, the combined authority has been given an initial £1.14 billion over 30 years. The Mayor will lead on the use of the new powers and funding.

Do you feel safe in Nottingham city centre? Let us know here

Mark Rogers, the interim chief executive of the East Midlands Combined County Authority, urged people to use their voice by saying: "This is a region that's under performed for a very long time. It's getting this chance to catch up, and the mayor will put this region on the map."

People in Nottingham's Old Market Square on the eve of the election were broadly positive about the opportunities the new East Midlands Mayor could unlock, though some had more mixed views. Andrew Lowe, 57, from Newark, said: "I was all for Brexit because I believe you should keep things local and you should be able to vote for people in your local area." But Mr Lowe was not sure if he would be voting on Thursday, adding: "I've not been keeping up on politics ever since the [corona] virus kicked in because it's made a mess of things."

Mark Peterson, 58, from Radcliffe-on-Trent, said: "I definitely think it shouldn't just be Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and they should have included the Leicester lot. It could be very good and I have made my mind up about who I'm voting for."

Angela Walker, 69, from Clifton, said: "Women died so that I could have a vote, so I think it's very important that women vote, whatever they think of politics. I haven't made my mind up yet who I'll be voting for so I'll have to think about that tonight."

Andrew Lowe from Newark
Andrew Lowe from Newark has mixed feelings about the new East Midlands Mayor -Credit:Nottingham Post

A spokesperson for the East Midlands Combined County Authority Returning Officer confirmed 1.6 million people had received an information booklet about the new authority and the candidates standing for election.

They added: "We were made aware late last week that the dispatch timelines for some of the booklets hadn’t been met by our distributor.

"We immediately took steps to ensure that the remaining booklets are delivered ahead of the election on Thursday. In addition, every single voter was sent a polling card before the booklet, which informed voters that they could find information about candidates standing in the election on the East Midlands Devolution website."

Others in favour of the East Midlands Mayor included Shaun Krim, 34, from Giltbrook, who said: "I wasn't aware about the election itself but I had heard about the new mayor. I'm not sure if I've had the leaflet through or not because the house is being renovated at the minute so everything's all over the shop, but I'm off on Thursday so I'll vote.

"It could be a good thing and I think everything needs a bit of work at the minute."

One person who wasn't keen on the idea was a 37-year-old mum from St Ann's, who did not want to be named and who said: "I'm not bothered, if they fined me then I might go and vote. I just think at the minute there's more to life, if I was worried about everything else that was going on then I wouldn't be very happy."

The candidates standing for election as East Midlands Mayor, in alphabetical order by last name, are:

  • Frank Adlington-Stringer, Green Party

  • Ben Bradley, Conservative

  • Alan Graves, Reform UK

  • Matt Relf, Independent

  • Helen Tamblyn-Saville, Liberal Democrats

  • Claire Ward, Labour