Regional Mayors – Letter to the Editor

Letter in the Times from Alexandra Jones responding to their article on Theresa May's policy towards mayors.

Press release published on 25 August 2016 by Alexandra Jones

Sir, Your report (Aug 22) that Theresa May “is to ditch George Osborne’s policy of directly elected mayors for city regions” underlines the need for the new prime minister to offer clarity about the future of devolution.

The drive to devolve more powers and introduce metro-mayors in major city regions across England has the potential to make a huge difference to the millions of people who live there. The government should confirm that mayoral elections in places such as Greater Manchester and the West Midlands will go ahead next May, as planned. Taking a more flexible approach to county devolution deals, where the case for mayors is less strong, is welcome but that should also be clarified as soon as possible.

While uncertainty continues, there is a risk that devolution could yet be derailed altogether. That would be a huge missed opportunity to support local economic growth, and would mean that political and economic power remains concentrated in Whitehall rather than in town halls across the country.

Alexandra Jones

CEO, Centre for Cities

Read the letters page here.