West Midlands mayor Andy Street has accepted hospitality and gifts worth more than £12,000 since being elected in 2017.

They include tickets to cricket, football and rugby games, a trip to the ballet, three bottles of wine and two bottles of whisky.

Details were published by the mayor's office.

The total value of gifts and hospitality received by the mayor came to £12,571.22, according to the mayor's office.

Mr Street later tweeted that his role had generated £1.7 billion-worth of investment and it was "right and proper" that taxpayers knew who he was meeting and what was being spent.

Then-Aston Villa CEO Keith Wyness hosted the mayor as they watched Villa play from an executive box in March 2018, worth £180.

Birmingham City Council treated Mr Street to tickets to the ICC Champions Trophy, a major cricket tournament, worth £180. He was accompanied by councillor Ian Ward, the then-Deputy Leader, who is now council leader.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

And Derek Richardson, chairman of Wasps Rugby Football Club in Coventry, was the host when Mr Street attended a game at the club. These tickets were also worth £180.

Birmingham Royal Ballet invited Mr Street to one of their performances, worth £106.00, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra gave him tickets worth £40.

Top executives from firms such as Bosch and Vodafone took Mr Street out for meals. Bosch apparently spent £100 on what must have been a good lunch - the money only includes Mr Street's share of the bill - while Vodafone provided dinner worth £75.

A small number of items were straightforward gifts.

The Taxi Owners' Association, a not-for-profit firm that oversees Birmingham's black cabs, gave the mayor a £60 hamper for Christmas, while the Indian Consulate General provided a hamper worth £75.

The Bangladesh High Commission gave Mr Street a £40 bottle of whisky for Christmas and the Rotary Club of Aston gave him whisky worth £35.

Andy Street watched Villa play as a guest of the club's Chief Executive

Maintenance company Homeserve, based in Walsall, gave Mr Street three bottles of wine worth £75 as a Christmas gift.

Much of the hospitality involved attending events organised by local organisations. For example, the mayor was invited to attend the Chancellor's Dinner, an annual event at the University of Birmingham, where he received hospitality worth an estimated £100.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York, provided £904.39 in hotel bills and plane tickets for Mr Street to attend the "Bloomberg Mayors' Programme". This took place in New York, where 40 mayors from across the world met in August 2017 to discuss how to run major cities.

 

A spokesman for the mayor said: "Clearly, the job of the Mayor is to work alongside a whole host of public and private sector partners to advance the work of the WMCA and the West Midlands region.

"On most evenings and very often at weekends, the Mayor takes part in events or dinners with stakeholders and community groups."

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

The figures also revealed how much Mr Street spent on transport in his official capacity.

Mr Street spent £5,008.41 of taxpayers' money on taxis and other private hire vehicles since being elected in May 2017.

And he spent £7,561.45 on air travel.

This included £2,196.17 to fly to Toronto, Canada, with West Midlands business leaders to promote trade with the region, and £2,800.95 to fly to the Commonwealth Games in Australia, in April 2018.

Birmingham is hosting the next Commonwealth Games, in 2022.

 

Mr Street also flew to Helsinki to see a scheme designed to cut homelessness, to Lisbon to promote trade with the West Midlands and to France for the MIPIM property investment conference, where he spoke about opportunities to invest in the region.

He spent £752.92 on flights to India as part of a "Midlands Engine" delegation to promote the region.

Officials said that despite running up taxi bills, the mayor made far more journeys on public transport than via taxi.

Mr Street later tweeted a link to this story and wrote: "I promised to be upfront about meetings, gifts and expenses.

"While the first 18 months of the Mayoralty has helped secure £1.7bn of investment it is right and proper people know what is being spent and who I am meeting."