A York tech entrepreneur has promised ‘a new generation of leadership’ as he joined the race to become the first Mayor of North Yorkshire.
Matthew Freckelton, 34, announced today (Monday) that he is standing to be the official Conservative candidate for the new role.
He said his focus would be on key areas including boosting affordable homes, high quality jobs and better bus services.
A serial tech entrepreneur, Matthew has built three successful businesses. Now the head of cities for Uber, he started his first company after graduating from the University of York.
He later sold the business, a social media monitoring platform, to a London based global communications agency.
Then he was instrumental in creating York TV, the Freeview television company. His most recent venture was a service that helped consumers automatically receive compensation for delayed rail travel. It grew quickly before it was acquired by Trainline.
A former chairman of York Conservatives, Matthew says North Yorkshire “has the potential to unleash huge opportunities for our region.
“To take full advantage of this we need new thinking and new ways of doing things, the same old ways of doing things simply won’t cut it anymore. We need a new generation of leadership to take our region forward.
“From Settle to Scarborough there is a huge amount of untapped talent across North Yorkshire, as Mayor I will drive investment into housing, transport, and education so that no matter what a person’s background they can thrive.”
He believes his business track record will stand him in good stead.
“As a region we’re not just competing with the rest of the UK, we’re competing with the rest of the world,” he said.
“North Yorkshire needs a leader that can not only work with the government to bring investments here, but has the background in business to work with global companies directly to secure the investments that will deliver thousands of good-quality well paid jobs.”
- on crime – he will work with the Chief Constable so that as many officers as possible can be redeployed back to the front line from administrative roles.
- on housing – he “will work tirelessly to deliver truly affordable homes across the region”.
- on public transport – he will ensure “every community has access to an affordable and reliable bus service, especially in rural areas, that connects local people to essential services and town centres”.
- on jobs – he will “prioritise creating more good-quality well paid jobs for local people by securing more investments from around the globe, while supporting existing local firms so they can compete, grow and prosper”.
Matthew’s only declared opponent for the Conservative candidacy is the North Yorkshire and York Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe.
He is critical of the levels of crime in the county, and the response to it.
Matthew said: “As Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner I won’t stand for nearly 17,000 instances of anti-social behaviour that we had last year.
“I won’t stand for increasing levels of violent crime.
“And I won’t stand for just 4 percent of shoplifters being charged or getting a summons.
“The latest report into the performance of North Yorkshire Police has raised major concerns and shows the force needs to make urgent improvements to help keep people safe and reduce crime.
“We need more police out on the beat in our communities to make our streets safer. These crimes make life miserable for far too many people in North Yorkshire and this will not be tolerated anymore, under my leadership there will be a zero-tolerance approach.”