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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street reveals his deputy mayor

Head of Solihull Council handed the job of being new mayor's right-hand man

New West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has appointed fellow Conservative and Solihull Council leader Bob Sleigh as his deputy.

The appointment came as council and business leaders from across the region held their first West Midlands Combined Authority meeting with the newly elected mayor chairing.

Coun Sleigh had been combined authority chairman in the run up to the mayoral election and Mayor Street said he had the confidence of other council leaders.

The deputy mayor has to be one of the seven metropolitan council leaders from Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Coun Sleigh is the only Conservative among the seven and represents Solihull, where voters turned out in large numbers last week to secure the top job for Mr Street.

Solihull Council Laeder Bob Sleigh

Mayor Street said: "I wanted Bob to take on the role of deputy mayor for two main reasons.

"First, he has done an excellent job in getting the West Midlands Combined Authority to where it is now, effectively laying the foundations to enable the mayor to build on the progress.

"Second, having been chosen as chairman in August 2015, it is clear he has the support and trust of the other council leaders.

"That will be crucial as we work to unite the leadership of the West Midlands. I know Bob will be an invaluable colleague over the next three years."

Coun Sleigh added: "It has been a pleasure to chair the combined authority for the last 18 months and I believe we have made a great deal of progress in key areas.

"I am honoured to accept the position of deputy mayor and look forward to working closely with Andy during what promises to be an exciting time for the West Midlands."

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