On May 2, voters in Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside elect a new mayor for North of the Tyne, as part of a devolution deal.
The mayor’s remit is economic development: jobs, homes, education and growth.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen shows what an imaginative mayor can achieve, attracting new business and government investment. North of the Tyne calls for a similar approach and someone with a wide experience in delivering projects on the ground.
We believe Charlie Hoult has the best track record. He has led North East tech group Dynamo on complex projects like the £30million National Innovation Centre for Data. His
own businesses have created 1,000 jobs. And, he has worked to put the region on the map by lobbying for new projects like Northumbria University’s International Centre for Connected Construction. Actions, not words.
We know Charlie has the passion and energy to deliver more winning projects as mayor. He plans to use the £600million mayoral budget for projects to support local growth, improve career paths and renew town centres. He’s a modern collaborator who will use seed investments to bring new connections with international partners, charities and government agencies.
None of us are strongly party political - but we are concerned at the prospect of a mayor from Labour’s hard-left Momentum faction. Corbyn’s candidate, Jamie Driscoll, has little relevant experience and has also declared that ‘nine times out of ten, owners contribute absolutely no work to the production process’. We worry naïve rhetoric will divide business people and scare off investors.
Our region needs a more positive vision and leadership with a mayor connected across community, business and government. We will vote for Charlie Hoult on May 2 because we know he can deliver the right growth for our region. We ask you to place your trust in him too.
Signed, Sir John Hall; Sir David Kelly; Raj Seghal, Union Property Services; Naveen Handa, Cairn Hotel Group; Dr Nigel Lightfoot CBE; Dr Shiv Pabary, InDental Practice; Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation; Laura Sykes and Fergus Trim, Broadoak; Jeremy Middleton, Middleton Enterprises; Jane Gibson, Gibson & Co; Steven Forrest, Forfusion; Alastair Balls; Mark Souter, RH Irving Industrials; Mark Squires, Squires Barnett Architects; Tim Jobling-Purser, James A Jobling; Jonathan Sykes, Sykes Property; Joel Marks, Cheviot Insured; Alistair Scott, Thomas N. Miller; Charlie Bennett, Otter Recruitment; Barry Ladhar, Ladhar Group; Anna Gibson, Microscooter; Susan Trim, Positive PR; Nigel Mills CBE; Michael Grayson, Solutions Recruitment; Aidan Ruff, Ellingham Partnership; Hermina and Paul Ely, Architects and Directors, Ely Architects Ltd; Chris Ollerenshaw; Paul Lilley, Emporia Leisure; Duncan Young, Sanderson Young.