The Daily Telegraph reports that elections for mayors in major cities will be held on November 15th. It could be as many as 11 depending on which decide too switch to the system in referendums on May 3rd. The decision makes sense as it will boost turnout and reduce cost as that will be the same day as the sheriffs or "Police and Crime Commissioners" are elected.
There will be up to 11 cities choosing a directly elected mayor. I'm not sure it will make difference. There is the claim that it will allow money to be saved by abolishing the council's chief executive but a council could do that anyway. It gives a chance for an independent to be elected. But Peter Davies , the English Democrat elected Mayor of Doncaster, has been thwarted from cutting Council Tax or achieving anything much as there is a majority of Labour councillors whose approval he needs for the budget. Doncaster is ditching the directly elected Mayor model.
Liverpool is among the cities expected to vote Yes in May. But if the Labour Council leader Cllr Joe Anderson becomes the Mayor will his change of title really be transformational for the city?
The 11 cities are Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield.
Salford are ahead of the pack – they hold a referendum for a directly elected mayor tomorrow. The Englsh Democrats claim it could mean lower Council Tax. What would really help would be a referendum on lower Council Tax. At the moment there is only a chance to have a referendum stopping big Council Tax increases.