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Elected Mayors may be scrapped by voters

The fact that there are campaigns in 4 out of the 11 local authorities that have directly elected mayors may get the government to recognise that this is not the solution of all problems of local government.

The reason why directly elected mayors are less sensitive to lobbying by ordinary votesr is that most things they hear are filtered by advisors. Whereas it is relatively straightforward to see your local councillor, getting to see the Mayor is much harder.

The Mayor, therefore, tends to deliver what the bureaucracy want, such as laying down gravestones - an issue in Stoke. (see linked Times Story)

The point about a council leader is that thay are accountable to the councillors hence councillors can force them to change tack on policies that are unwanted and ineffectual.

Comments

Bob Piper said…
Spot on, John. I fear the new Local Government Bill due in the Autumn will attempt to foist elected Mayors on regions as part of this latest regional tier of government. None of the Authorities involved want it, but Kelly, like Miliband, will have her hand forced by the PM, who appears to be the only person advocating this nonsense. The carrot of funding will be offered... but the stick will follow for those who don't bite.

The Councils must stand firm. All party unity against this centralising measure.
PoliticalHack said…
We really must stop meeting like this.

The directly elected mayor has a chance of working in London, where you have a large number of councils, but there is a genuine need for an over-arching control over certain issues - transport across the capital can only work with some element of centralised control.

It isn't required in Birmingham, because we have councillors and a council leader. While there are issues that affect the West Midlands as a region, those issues can be dealt with by formal links between councils - the elected mayor would actually be superfluous.

There is a need for effective and imaginative civic leadership in Birmingham - something that the current coalition has signally failed to provide - but that does not justify an additional elected layer of government.
Bob Piper said…
hack... "because... we have councillors and a council leader." Hey... it is not weanted, I agree, but I think you are wide of the mark in calling Whitless a LEADER!

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