Although already Britain's largest, most-successful city region, the West Midlands can grow even more and faster, says Lib Dem mayoral candidate Beverley Nielsen.
“We can achieve that by nurturing the region’s skills, our businesses and our entrepreneurial flair to drive and create our own home made success for the future,” she adds.
Talking at a Lib Dem meeting in Birmingham, she said the region is brimming with energy and ideas and is able to draw on the rainbow of communities making up our vibrant culture. With under-25s in Birmingham accounting for 40% of the population, it makes this one the youngest city regions in Europe.
"Our region has a strong tradition of gathering people and ideas from all over. We thrive and are at our best when our own radical, home made liberalism has been the prevailing political culture, chiming with us and who we really are. We need to build our own collective can-do culture."
"We need to be more independent, have a more confident voice promoting a far stronger message about our strengths and achievements."
"We do need a fairer share of national resource as a sound investment made into the UK’s industrial heartland. This is the only region showing a surplus on trade with China: £3bn compared with a UK deficit of £20bn. This should enable us to build our own capacity, our own skills, our own productivity to lead the rebalancing the Government has talked about for over five years but done little to deliver."
"Our homemade success is not about favouring the privileged few on the basis that they are the only wealth creators. We are all wealth creators making valued contributions to our overall well-being."
"We all need jobs, homes and a great place to live and enjoy. If people haven't got jobs, we lose them as engaged citizens."
"My agenda isn’t about doing something for the sake of it, but doing the right thing for our place, our people, so that more of us can share in a strong West Midlands-made success."
"Over the coming weeks I shall be illustrating many of our successful businesses, people, and the organisations that are helping us all to make it here"