A senate made up of elected mayors should be established and given a constitutional role to scrutinise Brexit, industrial strategy, and reforms to local government finance, according to the Local Government Information Unit.
Once established, the senate should expand to include a wider pool of leaders from both “cities and rural areas”, the think-tank said.
The recommendation is contained in LGiU’s ‘Beyond Devolution: the final report of the local democracy network’, published today, which said: “Our network of local government leaders, chief executives and senior practitioners told us there needs to be a strong voice from the English regions in these debates.
“That is why we argue for the establishment of a Mayors’ Senate that will allow leaders of cities and city regions to have a seat at key discussions, to scrutinise the government and to represent a broader range of interests.”
LGiU plans to “initiate the first session of the Senate in early 2018”, it said.
The think-tank is also calling for a local government finance commission, which it wants to be led by the sector.
Jonathan Carr-West, LGiU chief executive, said: “Democracy is at a crossroads. We cannot rely on central government alone to guide us through the enormous challenges that lie ahead. We need radical change that gives greater power to civic leaders outside Westminster and an overhaul of how local areas are funded, led by local government.”