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Thanks for your comment Vicky. We understand that there are many who feel they haven’t been adequately consulted regarding the introduction of metro mayors, but there are a number of reasons that we think the reforms do have democratic credibility – not least the fact that their introduction was in the Government’s manifesto, and the deals introducing them have been negotiated between elected politicians at the local and national level.
It’s also important to note that the comparison with the mayoral referenda of the last Parliament is not accurate – those posts came with no additional powers, and were confined to local authorities only.
In addition, my view is because power is so concentrated within central government, the terms of devolution will inherently be set by those in the centre. So while talk of a purely “bottom up” form of devolution might sound appealing, in reality it’s very hard to imagine how this could be delivered, or whether it would achieve the kind of economic and social benefits that the devolution agenda should be aiming to secure.
These mayors are being imposed on us. Centre for Cities seems to have no concern for the lack of democratic credibility of these structures or the fact that “pwrsonalitypolitics” like this can throw up all kinds of issues. Where there are solid majorities of obe party or another, it will be the party’s nomination process that will determine who the mayor will be with the public election then being an effective “coronation”
These figures above show that no where is there a majority of the population feeling knowleadgeable about the proposed structure. Clarke puts a positive spin on it – in line with C for C’s position on it, in my opinion undeservedly.
All these meetings you are hosting shows you are really wanting to move the arguments away from “do we want mayors” to “who will be mayor?” But that will not aid the credibility of the posts. We the people in the cities have not been consulted on whether or not we want mayors like this. When we were consulted about having more local mayors, we roundly opposed them. Ignoring this won’t make it go away