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  1. ITV Report

The West Midlands' first Mayoral Election is happening on Thursday - but who knows?

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

The people of the West Midlands are about to elect their first mayor - but does anyone know it is happening?

With powers over tramways, housing, and jobs, the new mayor will play an integral role to the lives of the region's 5.6 million people.

But in a straw poll conducted by ITV News, many local people appeared to be unaware of Thursday's election.

Speaking on a tram today, one passenger said: "I don't think we need one. There's too much bureaucracy as it is."

Another added: "It won't make any difference to me. No, not to me personally."

But one had a more positive outlook, saying he thought it was a good idea - but only as long as they "don't pay him too much money".

Andy Street, the Conservative candidate and former boss of John Lewis, told how the job of mayor could be similar to his previous role.

He said: "Running services efficiently and concentrating on good standards of services is an excellent thing.

"But there is a wider point here - and it's back to the point of being a new ambassador for the region, winning new investment."

Labour candidate Sion Simon dismissed the suggestion that Jeremy Corbyn could ruin his chances of winning.

He said: "What I talk about on the door step is us here in the West Midlands, taking back control of the West Midlands from London, and running it ourselves."

Beverley Nielsen, standing for the Liberal Democrats, said: "I'm very focused on us as the manufacturing heartland and the impact of a hard Brexit on access, the easiest possible access to the single market that takes 42% of all our exports here."

Ukip's Pete Durnell believes he is the "only one being open and honest about what's going on".

He added: "We have a huge combined authority building up and costing people a lot of money. I'm saying I'll do the job for just £30,000 a year - I'll do it with pride and passion."

James Burn for the Greens wants more focus on the poorest and another industrial revolution.

The candidates:

  • Beverley Nielsen (Liberal Democrat)
  • Sion Simon (Labour)
  • Andy Street (Conservative)
  • Pete Durnell (Ukip)
  • James Burn (Green)
  • Graham Stevenson (Communist)