I AM writing in response to the letter from Matthew Riddle last week.

I do agree that the election on May 4 is important as the new “Metro Mayor” for this area will have an important role to play in coordinating planning, transport infrastructure, etc.

However, I disagree that this is a two horse race (between the Conservatives and Labour).

Last month I attended an event at which the Liberal Democrat candidate, Stephen Williams spoke. He is an impressive speaker and has a range of excellent experiences to bring to the role:

1. Firstly, Stephen was a councillor on Bristol city and (more relevant to us in S Glos) on Avon County Council. Avon CC covered all the area that the new mayor will, and involved some of the same functions.

2. Secondly, Stephen was an MP – for Bristol West for ten years from 2005-15.

3. Thirdly he was a minister in the coalition government for the most relevant department – Communities and Local Government. He is used to dealing with civil servants, etc.

4. Fourthly, by profession, Stephen is an accountant which is always useful when there are budgets!

From Mr Riddle's letter, I learn that the Tory candidate is “a local businessman” (unspecified) and has been a member of S Glos council for several years. I find this far less convincing than what Mr Williams offers.

Mr Riddle's letter gives the current breakdown in political balance in this area, but I feel this in disingenuous because, until two years ago, the Lib Dems held three of the nine seats with Steve Webb in Thornbury and Yate and Don Foster in Bath, as well as Mr Williams.

In addition for substantial periods in the last decade, both BANES and Bristol were under Lib Dem control. There is clearly still a lot of Lib Dem support in this area.

J Rowan

St Anne's Drive

Coalpit Heath