Report calls on an elected mayor to be installed in Manchester Town Hall

Site Search
About us |
Quiénes somos |
A propos de nous | Über uns |
Mayor Monitor

English local government reforms 2007
British Mayors
Parish councils England
England's mayors assessed
Mayors and political parties
Localis: Learning from Europe
London elections 2012
UK elections 2010
UK elections 2009
England's mayors assessed
Case for elected mayors
Case against elected mayors
Recruiting local councillors
City of London Corporation
UK local government

City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |

Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More

City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More

City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More

City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More

City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More

City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More

City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More

City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More

City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More

City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More

City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More

City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More

City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More

City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More

City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More

City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More

City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More

City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More

City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

Report recommends elected
mayors for Britain’s big cities

By Andrew Stevens, UK Editor

2 March 2006: Greater Birmingham and Greater Manchester should have elected mayors who control spending on transport, regeneration, skills and the power to raise business tax according to a recently published report. It recommends England’s two biggest ‘city-regions’ should be in charge of their own economic development. It argues for around £1.2 billion a year to be devolved from regional development agencies, transport boards and the Learning and Skills Council.

Update November 2007:
In October 2007 the UK government’s Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act was finally approved by Parliament and overhauled the system of governance in most English councils, seven years after the landmark Local Government Act, which introduced the elected mayor model for the first time. The new Act requires council leaders to be installed for four years, thus almost creating a Swedish-style indirectly elected mayor. More

The report, City Leadership: Giving City-Regions the Power to Grow, is published by the Insitute for Public Policy Research’s Centre for Cities, a think tank set up by the New Labour-friendly body to stimulate debate around city regions as an alternative to the regional assemblies dropped after the referendum defeat of November 2004. The report follows that of the City Regions Commission set up by the New Local Government Network (NLGN) last year.

The centre’s director, Dermot Finch, said: “Our biggest city-regions need more power. Greater Birmingham and Greater Manchester are big enough to control their own economic development. This is the best way for them to increase jobs, improve transport and drive economic growth. Unelected regional quangos are too big and undemocratic but local authorities are too small. Directly-elected mayors will be controversial but they provide clear leadership and a visible line of accountability, as Ken Livingstone has shown in London.”

Other large city-regions – such as Leeds and Liverpool – could follow Manchester and Birmingham’s lead, the report says.

Tony Travers of the London School of Economics, who sat on the New Local Government Network’s City Regions Commission, argued that the report’s findings should be taken seriously, particularly in relation to transport authorities for other cities: “For too long the scatter-gun approach to local transport has hurt the economic vitality of many cities in the country. Setting up TfL has been a success and it is a model that should be copied across the country.”

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) welcomed the report as a contribution to the debate around elected mayors: "The government is convinced that strong leadership for our cities is essential if they are to achieve their potential economically and socially.”

The report received a lukewarm reception elsewhere. The Liberal Democrats’ Communities and Local Government spokesperson Sarah Teather said: “This report is like the curate's egg. It's packed full of good ideas, but is marred by New Labour's blinkered pre-occupation with mayors.”

Similarly, the Conservative Party’s spokesman Eric Pickles responded negatively to the idea: “A new tier of government isn’t going to change the current centralisation of power or make people more involved in their local communities.” he said. However, suggesting some inconsistency in Tory policy, party leader David Cameron had previously called for a new generation of city mayors in his leadership campaign launch last autumn and subsequently backed the NLGN report on city regions.

City regions are certainly high on the government’s agenda at the moment. The ODPM has asked England’s eight ‘Core Cities’ to submit their own plans for city regional structures in advance of this summer’s local government white paper. The government has also tasked Sir Michael Lyons with producing a report on the future of local government funding, which was later widened to include the form and function of local councils. On the city regions report he said: “This report is an important and welcome contribution to the debate on the future of local government. I don't agree with all of its conclusions, but we must consider accountability issues alongside questions of what local government should do and how it should be paid for.”

The report coincides with the conclusion of the ODPM consultation on widening the powers of the Mayor of London, with observers claiming the promise of more power to London is being pushed an incentive for cities like Birmingham and Manchester to adopt the city region mayor model.

World Mayor 2023