World Mayor vote 20/21
Andrew Stevens
UK Research Fellow


Andrew Stevens is UK Research Fellow at the City Mayors Foundation. He works in knowledge exchange for cities and regions.
Contacting Andrew Stevens by email: editor@citymayors.com. Please insert 'Andrew Stevens' in the subject line.




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Articles by Andrew Stevens
| Government | Politics |

GOVERNMENT
English city and
regional mayors
In London and several metropolitan areas, England’s cities are led by elected Mayors, while in all but 16 of the 309 local councils in England are run by a Council Leader elected by their fellow councillors. Since 2002 a number have been led by mayors elected directly by local voters. Most of the local authority elected mayors in England have responsibility for all local services, with two district council mayors responsible for only environment, planning and housing. In London and the metro area Combined Authorities, the Mayor is responsible for transport, economic development, skills and spatial planning, as well as other fields as devolved. All England’s elected mayors were elected for four-year terms by the instant run-off Supplementary Vote, though national legislation to scrap the semi-proportional system was passed in 2022. There are no elected mayors in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. MORE

The City of London: History,
feudalism and global finance

The landmarks of the area covered by the historic City of London Corporation are known to many – St Paul’s Cathedral, the Old Bailey, the ‘Gherkin’, the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ and the ‘Cheesegrater’, to name a few – but less is known about the ancient ‘Corporation’ itself. The City of London can also sometimes be confused with Greater London (the region covered by the Greater London Authority), but the two areas are entirely distinct and separate. Often simply referred to as ‘The City’, it has long been shorthand for the UK’s financial services sector.

The area of the City of London was first settled by the Romans and is governed by the City of London Corporation, which acts as the local authority for its jurisdiction. Gradually, the City of London established itself as the ‘capital’ of England, though Parliament and the Civil Service (Whitehall) are all based in the neighbouring City of Westminster. The Corporation and its practices have their origins as far back as 1111, it regards itself as “the oldest local authority in England”. MORE



New York’s Borough Presidents:
Influential beyond their powers

Bloomberg, Giuliani, Dinkins, Koch, the roll call of New York City leaders is notable by any city’s standards, as flyers to its LaGuardia airport can attest. Though weighty civic offices in their own right, the presidents of the five boroughs on the other hand enjoy less national or global prominence but possess considerable boss-like patronage and influence over local communities across the city.  NYC’s new Mayor Eric Adams served as Brooklyn’s Borough President for two terms from 2013, prior to his election as successor to the term-limited Bill De Blasio last November. MORE


Not the Mayor but the Boroughs
provide London’s vital services

While most Londoners can name their Mayor, fewer would recognise their local council leader in the street.  Despite a half-century of existence, the municipal tier of government in the UK’s capital city London rarely makes the headlines, though since 2000 its mayors have enjoyed global prominence, particularly current Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his two terms.  Taken together, the London Boroughs and the historic City of London Corporation form the 33 municipalities of Greater London, though their roles and workings are often less well understood than the Mayor and City Hall of the regional Greater London Authority. MORE



Local government in Japan
In a country more recently associated with a spate of natural disasters and decades of economic slump ahead of hosting its deferred Olympic Games in 2021, the Japanese system of local government has bedded down well with the guarantee of local autonomy enshrined in its post-war constitution. As with other historic aspects of Japanese society, there remains an appreciable level of civic pride among many people and interest in community affairs remains strong. MORE


History and many post-war reforms
shape local government in the UK

There is no single pattern of local government in the United Kingdom. Instead arrangements vary in the four ‘home nations’ of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, Wales and urban England, with the exception of London, single-tier unitary authorities provide all local services, whereas non-metropolitan England is served by a two-tier system split between district and county councils. MORE



Britain’s public service ethos
curbs elected mayors’ salaries

In the UK local politics has long been seen as community service rather than a professional career and this is reflected in the salaries paid to elected mayors. By contrast, senior officials in city administrations are often paid more than double the mayor’s salary. For instance, the Metro Mayor of the Tees Valley receives £65,000 per year, yet the authority’s chief executive takes home a more impressive £170,000, a gap of over £100,000. While mayoral and councillors’ remuneration is recommended by independent external advisers, councils are free to set their own political pay rates, though many reduce or freeze against the recommended level, mindful of local voters’ reactions. MORE



World mayors, their
parties and politics

Well into the second decade of this century, the global pattern of urbanization remains wedded to governance by mayors and city leaders of differing political colours. In this biennial survey of urban political allegiances (since 2009), City Mayors examines the role of partisan politics in how mayors are chosen to lead the world's largest cities, even in what is occasionally termed an anti-political era. Europe recorded a number of minor upsets to the established order since the last survey, but the bigger story here is perhaps the clean sweep witnessed in Latin America of parties of the centre-right. MORE


Local government in Ireland
Irish with a British accent

Local government in the Republic of Ireland predates its national political structures, with the constitutional arrangements laid down under British rule in the late nineteenth century remaining in place. Ireland’s local government arrangements consisted until recently of 29 county and county borough councils with a set of smaller town and in some cases borough councils at the sub-tier. A big bang reorganisation in 2014 saw this number streamlined and flattened into 31 all-purpose local authorities through a series of mergers, in response to Ireland’s recent economic and political crisis. MORE


POLITICS
World mayors, their
parties and politics

The narrative of the global pattern of urbanization is that we are said to live in the ‘urban century’ and the ‘age of the mayor’. Current affairs weeklies nod with approval at mayor-centred urban analysis by Richard Florida, Benjamin Barber and Bruce Katz – city rankings now enjoy the kind of media glow once reserved for corporate giants. But who gets to govern the world’s biggest cities? City Mayors examines the shifts in urban political allegiances and party machines over the past five years. MORE