Politicians need to change the way they present planned infrastructure improvements to ensure that residents support them, a metro mayor has said.
Speaking to the national conference of council directors’ body ADEPT, West of England mayor Tim Bowles said: ‘I think you all need to start changing – my comms team talk about narrative – I talk about how we talk to the people we represent.
‘It’s really important that we all talk about the great work that you do as directors of place, because without the work you are all doing, we wouldn’t have homes, we wouldn’t have communities, we wouldn’t have well-connected environments and businesses and places to work.’
Mr Bowles addresses ADEPT members
He told delegates: ‘For me it’s being able as a politician to translate that and articulate that to the people outside. Not simply because they are my electorate but more importantly I am one of the people who lives here and we really all as individuals need to feel as though we understand more the great work that you are doing.’
Conservative Mr Bowles, who was elected in 2017, added: ‘So from my perspective, I think part of my challenge is: how do we help translate a little bit of what you are all doing, make people we represent really value and understand the work that you all do.
‘I think we are all very familiar with how we come forward with projects and the first thing that happens is we see is people with placards, saying, stop that!
‘We need to be trying to change the way we are looking at the world and have people coming to [place directors] and saying, we want you to be able to deliver, we want you to be able to create, we want you to have the vision for what our communities and our council areas and our regions and the country needs to look like.’