This Thursday, voters in ten of England’s biggest cities outside London will vote on whether to join the capital in having a directly-elected mayor. Meanwhile, those in Salford and Liverpool will be voting for the first time in mayoral elections. Under the government’s city deal proposals, cities with “strong and accountable” leadership will be granted devolved powers over regeneration, economic growth and possibly planning. It could mark the start of the biggest decentralisation project since devolution was granted to Wales, Scotland and London by the Labour government in the late 1990s. But according to a recent poll, 61 per cent of people oppose the switch to elected mayors. After more than a decade of having a high-profile mayor in London, why aren’t cities more enthusiastic about the prospect? Read more on Confusion and local resistance could derail coalition’s city mayors ambitions…
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