Liam Byrne - Labour
Liam Byrne - Labour's Shadow Mayor of the West Midlands

Liam Byrne and Jack Dromey have today outlined their bold and ambitious £1.7bn regeneration plan for the West Midlands in the wake of Coronavirus.

The plan, launched on what would have been polling day for the West Midlands Mayoral Election prior to its postponement, would use emergency capital spending to “prevent the great lockdown turning into the great downturn.”

Jack Dromey MP said:

“We are facing the biggest crisis since 1945. The West Midlands is on course to be one of the worst hit regions in the country, with forecasts of a 10% hit to the economy this year and 11% next year. This could see unemployment in our region rise to anywhere between 50,000 and 150,000 people.

“In the face of an unprecedented threat, we need unprecedented action. That’s why Liam Byrne and I have outlined Labour’s bold and ambitious £1.7 billion regeneration plan to rebuild the green heart of England in the wake of Coronavirus. Our plan would save both lives and livelihoods by putting much needed economic investment into our region.

“Our plan would use emergency capital spending to fund:

– Building of efficient green council houses
– Convert offices to council flats
– Electrify the public transport network
– Double the tram network
– The roll out of low-cost solar panel for schools and homes
– The acceleration of High Speed 2

“This – combined with a new ‘right to work’ that would ensure everyone who loses their job as a result of Coronavirus is offered a guarantee to help keep them in work – would provide the much needed investment and security the West Midlands needs to rebuild post-Coronavirus.

“In the years after 1945, Labour rebuilt Britain by creating the NHS and a comprehensive social security system. Now, in the years after 2020, Labour will rebuild Britain once more.”

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