On 5 May 2017, six Metro Mayors were elected for the first time to lead combined authorities in: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, the Tees Valley, the West of England and the West Midlands. The six combined authority areas account for a total population of 9.5 million people, almost 20 per cent of the population in England.
On 6 May 2021, Tracy Brabin was elected as the first Mayor of West Yorkshire and is the first female metro mayor.
Metro mayors and are directly elected by citizens in their area, and are chairs of their area's combined authority. The mayor, in partnership with the combined authority, exercises the powers and functions devolved from Government, set out in the local area's devolution deal.
There are six Labour Metro mayors:
- Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
- Oliver Coppard, Mayor of Sheffield City Region
- Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region
- Dan Norris, Mayor for the West of England
- Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
- Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire
The devolved powers and the level of funding varies across the combined authorities. Whilst the powers included in most of the devolution deals focus on housing, skills and transport, Greater Manchester combined authority also has devolved powers and funding relating to criminal justice and health and social care. For example, while all of the directly elected mayors have responsibility for franchised bus services, only some will have responsibility for new key route networks of local authority roads.
Since 2000, London has also had a directly elected mayor but the role, and the structures supporting it, differ from the areas listed above. The current Mayor of London is Labour’s Sadiq Khan.