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LEADERS DIVIDE OVER MAYORS

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A number of Labour councils support the idea of elected mayors, BBC Radio Four's Today programme reported this morn...
A number of Labour councils support the idea of elected mayors, BBC Radio Four's Today programme reported this morning.

The new unitary Brighton Council is experimenting with cabinet style leadership. Leader Steve Bassam said an elected mayor would 'create a political structure that cuts through a lot of the unnecessary bureaucracy.'

This structure would speed up development programmes and help bring in private investment, he told Today.

Former Manchester City Council leader Graham Stringer said an elected mayor would have helped the city in its bids for international events.

Having one representative helped cities like Barcelona and Atlanta win their Olympic bids, Mr Stringer told the programme. 'It presents a positive image of those cities, people recognise the person on an international level and it also helps unite the people of those cities behind that person.'

But John Harman, former leader of Kirklees MBC feared such a system would weaken accountability.

'It would set up two different mandates locally,' he said, and could lead to stand-offs between the leader or mayor and the rest of the administration.'

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