The Government’s commitment to people power and local democracy took another step forward today as Cities Minister Greg Clark announced the date for mayoral elections.
Ballot boxes in the cities that say ‘yes’ to mayors will open on 15 November 2012, giving local people the power to decide who their first mayor should be.
In May 2010, the Coalition set out its commitment to creating directly elected mayors in the 12 largest English cities outside London, subject to confirmatory referendums and full scrutiny by elected councillors.
Referendums will take place on 3 May 2012 in 11 cities - Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield. Leicester already has an elected Mayor.
Directly elected mayors mark another shift in the landmark transfer of powers from Whitehall back to communities, letting local people decide what is best for their area. The Government believes that elected mayors can provide the strong, democratically accountable leadership to maximise the potential for economic growth and investment in cities bringing real benefits for residents and businesses.
Cities Minister Greg Clark said:
Elected mayors provide cities with the strong, visible leadership that can help them prosper nationally and internationally. This is an opportunity for each city to transform itself for the better.
The world’s great cities have mayors who lead for their city on the national and international stage, attracting investment and jobs. We believe that mayors can help English cities achieve their full potential too.
This May, the people of our cities will have the chance to have their say. Now is the time to start weighing up what a mayor could do for your city.
The legal foundation for the role of directly elected mayors is the Government’s Localism Act, which contains a wide range of decentralising measures. Mayors will have a crucial role to play in shaping the ongoing process of reform - negotiating with Ministers to specify and secure the specific powers that each community needs to prosper.
Notes to Editors
1. The Coalition Agreement set out a commitment to create directly elected mayors in the 12 largest English cities outside London, subject to confirmatory referendums and full scrutiny by elected councillors. The Localism Act empowers local people to decide whether they want an elected mayor for their city. Mayoral referendums are being held on local Election Day on 3 May 2012. Leicester has recently elected a Mayor. Bristol will hold their next local election in 2013 and Nottingham will hold theirs in 2015.
- If a city votes in favour of having a mayor at its referendum, that city will then hold an election for its first mayor on 15 November 2012. Mayors would be elected for four year terms.
3. The Government recently published the document ‘Unlocking growth in cities’ available at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/regeneration/growthcities.
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