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Greens choose transport-focused candidate for South Yorkshire Mayor

Bex Whyman says she will integrate public transport in the region and "say no to more road schemes."

Bex Whyman Green Mayoral candidate

Green Party candidate for Mayor of South Yorkshire Bex Whyman.

Sheffield Green Party.

The Green Party have announced their candidate for Mayor of South Yorkshire at the upcoming elections on 5 May.

Bex Whyman, who said she had experience of being "the only woman in a room", has focused her campaign on transport, as well as green energy, jobs and skills.

She joins the only other candidate announced so far – businessman Simon Biltcliffe for the Yorkshire Party – with Labour's candidate due to be announced tomorrow after an internal election.

"I am free to stand up for local people and truly represent the communities of South Yorkshire – can Labour really say the same?" said Whyman in a statement.

"In place of party bosses, I will be accountable to the people that make this county so vibrant. Instead of consultation, as mayor I will insist on conversation."

Some expected popular former Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid to run for the Greens, but he has not done so.

Whyman, who works full-time as a senior analyst, has said that she will bring the region's buses back under public control and create "better, integrated tram and rail services in South Yorkshire."

According to her statement she would "say no to more road schemes" – £4.5m was recently spent to widen Sheffield's inner ring-road at West Bar, even though studies have shown that road widening does not reduce congestion.

On energy, the Green candidate said she wanted "an insulated Britain, more clean renewable energy and absolutely no fracking," adding that she would "fight to reduce energy bills and emissions."

"It is vital to develop jobs and skills that support this period of energy transition, undertaking the important work of conserving energy by insulating homes," she said.

"We want to achieve this by building more energy efficient homes and retrofitting the places we live and work."

The election for the next Mayor of South Yorkshire will take place on 5 May 2022, and incumbent Labour mayor Dan Jarvis is not running for re-election.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have not yet selected their candidates. Labour will announce their candidate tomorrow.

Mayoral elections use a more democratic voting system than the first-past-the-post system used for General Elections. Voters in South Yorkshire will be able to choose a second preference, which will be counted if their first choice is knocked out.

At the last election in 2018, Jarvis won with 74% of the vote once second preference votes were counted.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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