Published on 15/03/2021
Young Combined Authority members
  • WMYCA Hustings is an opportunity for young people to question the candidates standing in the West Midlands Mayoral election
  • WMYCA will share young people’s priorities, hopes and concerns with the region’s leaders and decision-makers
  • Hustings takes place on 18 March 2021 at 18:00 to 19:00 hrs

Young people from across the region will be putting the West Midlands Mayoral candidates to the test at a special hustings event on Thursday 18 March.

Last year, the Young Combined Authority (YCA) produced a vision document, the ‘2020 Youth Manifesto’, funded by Aston University’s Strategic Priorities Fund, which sets out the issues that are most important to the region’s young people.

Now, the YCA is ready to put the manifesto to the test by putting questions to the West Midlands Mayoral candidates to make sure that the candidates are hearing and understanding the real issues of young people in the West Midlands today.

Young people have been disproportionately disadvantaged by Covid-19 – whether that is by the direct impact of the lockdown on the hospitality sector, where high numbers of young people work, or how existing issues such as digital poverty have become more critical during the crisis. Many of these challenges will have long term impacts. Covid-19 has also demonstrated the radical impact which public policy and political decisions can have on young people.

The five confirmed Mayoral candidates are Liam Byrne (Labour), Steve Caudwell (Green Party) Andy Street (Conservative), Ashvir Sangha (Independent), Tim Weller (Independent) and Jenny Wilkinson (Liberal Democrats).

Chris Burden, co-chair of the YCA Board, said: “The West Midlands Young Combined Authority (WMYCA) brings together a diverse board of young people who all live, learn and work across the West Midlands and we are delighted to be hosting this event. The WMYCA has gone from strength to strength in the past year, and now we are able to put our ambitious vision to the Mayoral candidates. This is a fantastic opportunity for youth engagement in the West Midlands, and we are excited and look forward to a robust and youth-focused discussion.”

Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said: “Our region has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the country. We want to make sure that young people’s voices are heard by our region’s leaders and decision makers, who will shape the future of the West Midlands.”

It is free to attend and open to all and will take place on Microsoft Teams Live from 18:00 to 19:00 on Thursday 18 March 2021. Register your place in advance through Eventbrite.



Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

If you are aged 16 to 25 years and live in the West Midlands, then you can get involved by joining the YCA Community, which offers an easy and flexible way to have your say on key issues for the region. Find out more at or apply at

People in the West Midlands will head to the polls on 6 May to elect a regional mayor. Votes will be counted in the Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall local authority areas.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press & PR Officer, on 07557 745416 or email

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
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Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager

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