by David Sweeting, Associate Editor, Policy & Politics
Originally posted in November 2013 on the Democratic Audit blog.
Directly Elected Mayors are back in the news – Lord Adonis is pushing the idea of a ‘metro-mayor’ for ‘Greater Birmingham. In this post, David Sweeting reflects on the introduction of a Directly Elected Mayor in Bristol.
It is well over a year since the first directly elected mayor of Bristol took office. While Bristol is not the only place in the country to have such a mayor, it was the only one of ten cities that said yes to a mayor in referendums held in May 2012. Despite various inducements from central government in the form of looking favourably at city deals, and also the prospect of a mayors’ cabinet with the PM himself, Bristolians were the only citizens in the country at that time to go for the option of replacing a traditional council leader with what many see as an American style figure at the head of city government. So, as the idea of Directly Elected Mayors moves back up the agenda, it seems appropriate to ask, what difference does having an elected mayor make? Continue reading