West of England Mayor Tim Bowles has tonight announced that after nearly 20 years of political service in the West of England, including four years as the first regional mayor, he intends to retire from politics once his term in office comes to an end next year.
He 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.”
Cllr Toby Savage, who is leader of South Gloucestershire Council and Deputy Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority, said: “The impact that Tim has had as the inaugural West of England Mayor, building the combined authority from scratch and bringing together the local authorities, both across geographical and political borders, has set our region on a truly positive path.
“Given all he has been able to achieve in such a short space of time, it is a great shame that Tim has decided not to contest the election next year and want to thank him for all he has done over a number of years putting the needs of local residents first.”
The Conservatives will now be looking for a new candidate. Labour have just elected Dan Norris, former Labour MP for Wansdyke (now North East Somerset), to stand as their candidate while the Lib Dems’ contender is the former Bristol West MP Stephen Williams.