12Some cities rejected mayors after referenda in 2012, why has this been ignored?
In 2012, 10 English cities, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield, many of which will be getting a metro mayor next year, held referenda on whether they wanted to introduce a directly elected city mayor to replace their current leaders. All the cities except Bristol voted against electing a mayor. In Liverpool the mayoralty was created without a referendum.
The referenda were for the individual local authorities only, even in the case of Manchester where a Greater Manchester combined authority existed. Moreover, these mayors did not come with devolution deals or any additional powers.
The introduction of metro mayors, on the other hand, was part of the Conservative Party manifesto ahead of the 2015 general election, and part of their wider plan to devolve more powers from national government to city regions. Devolution deals have therefore been agreed by national politicians with a mandate to act, and local politicians with a mandate to represent their areas. As a result, only a handful of areas have chosen to run referenda on these new deals, as in 2012.