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All large cities should have directly elected mayors with extensive powers.

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All large cities should have directly elected mayors with extensive powers.

Alex Helling's picture
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The London Mayoral election campaign is in full swing with two well known politicians Boris Johnson for the Conservatives and Ken Livingstone for Labour battling it out for control of Britain’s most important city. However at the same time there will be elections in two other cities; Liverpool and Salford and referendums on whether to have mayors in a further ten cities; Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield. These directly elected Mayors will take over much of the role of city councils and will also sit in a ‘cabinet of Mayors’ which will meet at least twice a year with the Prime Minister as Chairman this will allow Mayors the opportunity to lobby for their policies and the necessary funding. Perhaps more importantly for the Mayor it will mean direct executive control over policies something that many politicians and as a result Michael Heseltine who is promoting the idea of Mayors for cities has even said that they may in future have more power than some cabinet ministers. There is however some uncertainty over what the proposals will mean with the Government’s report not giving a specific set of powers but “Where a mayor is, or in the case of Leicester has been, elected in any of the mayoral cities we expect that mayor to put to us any proposals he or she has for decentralising services and powers to that city mayor.” This could mean different mayors having very different powers. This has been one of the main lines of attack by opponents; if there is little change from city councils all this means is a centralisation of power in the hands of an individual rather than a (usually divided politically) group.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17687751

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17703878

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/01/whitehall-battling-avoid-losing-powers-mayors-heseltine

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/mayorsconsultation

2 years 27 weeks ago
Alex Helling's picture
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Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 1122
Applause: 100

We now have a debatabase debate on this: This House would directly elect city mayors

2 years 25 weeks ago
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