Council experts question directly elected mayors

Author: The MJ   |  

There is still not enough evidence to prove directly elected mayors provide any benefits to large cities, a local government think tank debate has concluded.

Three local government experts were invited by Localis to write an essay on the following question – Are directly elected mayors appropriate for all major UK cities? The three agreed on one thing – there are still questions to be answered.

The Mayor of London’s policy director, Anthony Browne, argued that the example of London shows that a Mayoral system can thrive, and is a vital part of coherence in local decision making and providing accountability. But he admitted the powers of the Mayor may vary from place to place.

The leader of the LGA’s Liberal Democrat group, Cllr Richard Kemp, wanted evidence that Mayors succeed, arguing that London cannot be considered an example due to it being a ‘special case’.

Steve Malanga of City Journal showed how the success of Mayors has varied within the US, but that the crucial point is that power is given to the people to decide.

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