As Liverpool prepares to vote for its first directly-elected mayor, JMU Journalism aims to talk to all of the candidates to see what they are offering the public. We spoke to Tony Caldeira about his bid.
The Conservative Party candidate for Liverpool mayor, Tony Caldeira, has claimed that he can bring new leadership to the city if elected on 3rd May.
Caldeira is the founder and chairman of the successful local textile company, Caldeira Ltd, and believes that this global business experience will help to bring economic growth to the city.
He told JMU Journalism*: “I’m keen that business is put at the forefront of this campaign. We need to support all businesses big and small to come into the city.
“I would like to make Liverpool a world class global city, I want to make it not only the city of culture but the city of enterprise. Liverpool needs to become Britain’s most business friendly city.”
The Liverpool-born candidate says has four main priorities to his mayoral campaign. He wants to focus creating growth and jobs, cut crime, aim to freeze council tax for four years and focus on making a ‘cleaner, greener and safer’ Liverpool.
Caldeira said he grew up living in poverty, in a single parent family and living in a council house but he used his own business prowess to get out of that poverty.
The 42-year-old started his own textile business, the day he left school, selling cushions at the age of 15 at Great Homer Street Market in North Liverpool.
He said: “We need to encourage young children to get into business, we need to protect the old markets and the heritage of Liverpool where many businesses once started. I aim to find the next Matalan, or the next Home Bargain.
“I believe that as a man who has built a global business I have all the skills required to help build growth. That’s my background. Liverpool has the potential to be the best business city in the UK, I aim to make it the most improved business city in the UK”
Liverpool has had a rocky relationship with the Conservatives, with the party currently have no representative on the city council or MP in Westminster.
But Caldeira believes that Liverpool is ready for a Tory Mayor: “In a mayoral election it’s about the person, I am that person, I’m in it to win it.”
* JMU Journalism’s Camilla Cole was working for Juice FM when she conducted this interview