Two candidates have put their names forward to become the interim mayor of Greater Manchester.
As LGC reported ahead of yesterday’s deadline for applications, Greater Manchester’s police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd (Lab) and the chair of the region’s combined authority Lord Peter Smith (Lab) will go head-to-head for the post.
Only elected representatives living in one of the 10 Greater Manchester local authority areas were able apply.
If Lord Smith were to be selected, he would have to relinquish his role as leader of Wigan MBC. However, Mr Lloyd would be able to continue in his current role.
A Greater Manchester Combined Authority spokesman told LGC: “The deadline to apply to become interim mayor of Greater Manchester has passed and we can confirm that there are two applicants, Tony Lloyd and Lord Peter Smith. The successful candidate will be selected in late May and appointed at the end of June.
“The interim mayor will provide leadership for Greater Manchester during the transitional period up to May 2017 when a directly elected mayor will be created, subject to legislation.”
Confirming his application, Mr Lloyd said in a statement that “all eyes” were on Greater Manchester and added it was important the public did not perceive the mayoral role as “another layer of politicians” but “a new voice for them” at a local and national level.
“This change is not about pushing power upwards but about powers coming to us from central government and from Greater Manchester to the 10 local councils,” said Mr Lloyd.
“That’s why transparency and making the interim mayor accountable to the public is fundamental.”
The two candidates will attend four scrutiny sessions at which they will be grilled by councillors from the 10 local authorities, before attending a separate ‘stakeholder panel’ made up of representatives from public and private sector partners.
Members of the GMCA will then conduct interviews with the candidates by 29 May before selecting their preferred choice.