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Let cities elect ‘metro mayors’ next – report

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A leading thinktank has called for cities that vote to create elected mayoralties next month to be allowed to turn them into ‘metro mayors’ in four years’ time.

Publishing data which illustrates the size of the jobs that any city council mayors created as a result of the 3 May referendums will have, the Centre for Cities thinktank claimed the roles will still be too restricted.

The report showed that an elected mayor of Birmingham would control a budget that, at £2.2bn, would be the equivalent of that of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

But chief executive Alexandra Jones said limiting the mayors’ remits to the current city council boundaries would prevent them from having a positive impact on their local economies. Instead, voters should, in 2016, be given the opportunity to vote to turn the position into that of a ‘metro mayor’ that covers a functioning economic area.

“In the short term, mayors will need to focus on building excellent relationships with neighbouring authorities to ensure that decisions on major planning, skills and transport policies are not restricted by political boundaries,” she said. “By the time of the next electoral cycle in 2016 we hope that national government will allow those cities with the appetite for it to introduce metro mayors.”

 

How big would the job be for your mayor?

 Business stock 2009-1010Employment 2010JSA claimant count February 2012Number of schools May 2011Number of planning applications (year to September 2011)
Birmingham30,000476,10052,1003745,370
Leeds24,100406,20025,8002564,430
Sheffield15,000248,50018,4001602,710
Bradford14,500198,40019,8001834,020
Manchester15,400312,20020,5001552,430
Bristol15,400249,40013,3001243,000
Wakefield8,700141,2009,9001341,790
Coventry8,500143,00010,7001041,400
Nottingham8,100190,70014,700931,260
Newcastle upon Tyne7,400175,00010,100861,560
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