Directly elected mayors


What is a directly elected mayor?
 

Directly elected mayors are chairs of their area's combined authority and are elected by the people. 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.

With the exception of Cornwall, all devolution deals require areas to have a directly elected mayor. The Government believes the role ensures clear accountability over the powers, functions and funding that is devolved from national to local level.

Which areas have a directly elected mayor?

On 5 May 2017, six 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% of the population in England.

The next mayoral elections for the six areas will be held in May 2020.

Since 2000, London has also had a directly elected mayor but the role, and the structures supporting it, differ from the areas listed above. Further information on the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority will be uploaded to the website shortly.

What responsibilities do mayors and combined authorities have?

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.

The devolved powers and the level of funding varies across the combined authorities. For example, all have responsibility for the Adult Education Budgets from 2018, but only some will be piloting full retention of business rates. Similarly, while all of the directly elected mayors will have responsibility for franchised bus services, only some will have responsibility for new key route networks of local authority roads.

Full details of the powers and funding included in the devolution deals can be found in the devolution register.

Who are the directly elected mayors?

Click on the links below to view profiles of the directly elected mayors and to understand more about their powers and priorities.

Background

Tim Bowles was elected in 2010 as a Conservative ward councillor for Winterbourne in South Gloucestershire and subsequently served on a number of council committees and as a member of the political leadership team.

He stood as the Conservative candidate in the West of England mayoral election and was elected to the role in May 2017.

The combined authority

In his role as directly elected mayor, Tim Bowles is the chair of the West of England combined authority. The combined authority is made up ofBath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

For further information, see the combined authorities page.

Devolution deal highlights

The devolution deal for the West of England made provision for a range of responsibilities to be devolved to the combined authority and the directly elected mayor.

Key powers and functions included in the devolution deal are listed below:

  • Control of a £30 million a year funding allocation over 30 years, to be invested in the West of England Single Investment Fund.
  • Responsibility for a consolidated transport budget, with a multi-year settlement.
  • Responsibility for the Adult Education Budget from 2018.
  • Responsibility for franchised bus services.
  • Piloting 100% retention of business rates as of April 2017.

Detailed information on the powers and functions of the directly elected mayor and the West of England combined authority can be found on our devolution deals page.

Mayoral priorities

  • Improve frequency and capacity on key rail services, including opening new railway stations.
  • Build new strategic roads to take goods vehicles away from towns and cities and champion clean air zones.
  • Prioritise building in urban regeneration areas and on brownfield land.

Background

Andy Burnham was elected as MP for Leigh in Greater Manchester in 2001 and stood down in 2017. He held the posts of culture secretary and health secretary while in government, and most recently held the post of shadow home secretary.

He stood as the Labour candidate in the Greater Manchester mayoral election and was elected to the role in May 2017.

The combined authority

In his role as directly elected mayor, Andy Burnham is the chair of the Greater Manchester combined authority. The combined authority is made up ofBolton Council, Bury Council, Manchester City Council, Oldham Council, Rochdale Borough Council, Salford City Council, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Trafford Council and Wigan Council.

For further information, see the combined authorities page.

Devolution deal highlights

The devolution deals for Greater Manchester made provision for a range of responsibilities to be devolved to the combined authority and the directly elected mayor.

Key powers and functions included in the devolution deal are listed below:

  • The Greater Manchester local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England agreed to devolve commissioning for health and social care with a total budget of £6bn.
  • Piloting 100% retention of business rates as of April 2017.
  • A new £300m fund for housing.
  • The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner to be merged with the role of directly elected Mayor.
  • Responsibility for the Adult Education Budget from 2018.

Detailed information on the powers of the directly elected mayor and the Greater Manchester combined authority can be found on our devolution deals page.

Mayoral priorities

  • Develop a UCAS-style application system for all apprenticeships in Greater Manchester.
  • Introduce the country's first fully-integrated National Health and Care Service.
  • Establish Homelessness Action Network with the goal of eradicating rough sleeping in Greater Manchester by 2020.

Background

Ben Houchen is a qualified solicitor and he has represented the Yarm and Kirklevington Ward on Stockton Council since 2011, where he has been leader of the Conservative Group.

He stood as the Conservative candidate in the Tees Valley mayoral election and was elected to the role in May 2017.

The combined authority

In his role as directly elected mayor, Ben Houchen is the chair of the Tees Valley combined authority. The combined authority is made up ofDarlington Borough Council, Hartlepool Borough Council, Middlesbrough Council, Redcar and Cleveland Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

For further information, see the combined authorities page.

Devolution deal highlights

The devolution deal for the Tees Valley made provision for a range of responsibilities to be devolved to the combined authority and the directly elected mayor.

Key powers and functions included in the devolution deal are listed below:

  • Control of a £15 million a year funding allocation over 30 years, to be invested in the Tees Valley Single Investment Fund.
  • Responsibility for a consolidated transport budget, with a multi-year settlement.
  • Bus franchising powers.
  • Responsibility for the Adult Education Budget from 2018.

Detailed information on the powers of the directly elected mayor and the Tees Valley combined authority can be found on our devolution deals page.

Mayoral priorities

  • Develop a new 'garden village' in the region that will provide homes and infrastructure.
  • Bring Teeside airport back into public ownership.
  • Promote local business with partners and clients across the world, including through trade missions organised by the Mayor's office.

Background

James Palmer has been Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council since 2013 and a councillor for 10 years. His background is in business and he has lived and worked in the area all his life.

He stood as the Conservative candidate in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayoral election and was elected to the role in May 2017.

The combined authority

In his role as directly elected mayor, James Palmer is the chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority. The combined authority is made up ofCambridge City Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership, Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Peterborough City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

For further information, see the combined authorities page.

Devolution deal highlights

The devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough made provision for a range of responsibilities to be devolved to the combined authority and the directly elected mayor.

Key powers and functions included in the devolution deal are listed below:

  • Responsibility for a multi-year, consolidated and devolved transport budget.
  • Control of a £20 million a year funding allocation over 30 years, to be invested in the C & P Single Investment Fund.
  • Responsibility for devolved 19+ adult skills funding from 2018-19.
  • Responsibility for franchised bus services.

Detailed information on the powers of the directly elected mayor and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority can be found on our devolution deals page.

Mayoral priorities

  • Diversify the local housing market, opening it up to smaller, local builders.
  • Review option of an underground metro system in Cambridge, with a light railway into Cambridgeshire.
  • Ensure schools and businesses work more closely to match the development of young talent with the needs of local companies.

Background

Steve Rotherham was elected as a Liverpool City councillor in 2002, serving as Lord Mayor of the city during its period as the European Capital of Culture. In 2010 he was elected as MP for Liverpool Walton and in 2015 was appointed to the post of Parliamentary private secretary for the leader of the opposition.

He stood as the Labour candidate in the Liverpool City Region mayoral election and was elected to the role in May 2017.

The combined authority

In his role as directly elected mayor, Steve Rotheram is the chair of the Liverpool City Region combined authority. The combined authority is made up ofHalton Borough Council, Knowsley Council, Liverpool City Council, Sefton Council, St Helens Council and Wirral Council.

For further information, see the combined authorities page.

Devolution deal highlights

The devolution deals for Liverpool City Region made provision for a range of responsibilities to be devolved to the combined authority and the directly elected mayor.

Key powers and functions included in the devolution deal are listed below:

  • Responsibility for a consolidated local transport budget, with a multi-year settlement.
  • Control of a £30 million a year funding allocation over 30 years, to be invested in the LCR Single Investment Fund.
  • Piloting 100% retention of business rates as of April 2017.
  • Responsibility for the Adult Education Budget from 2018.
  • Responsibility for franchised bus services.

Detailed information on the powers of the directly elected mayor and the Liverpool City Region combined authority can be found on our devolution deals page.

Mayoral priorities

  • Develop and introduce a new Independent Careers Service for young people.
  • Launch a Metro Mayor's Housing Challenge to identify and pilot new ways to meet housing needs.
  • Create a City Region Renewable Energy Company funded through a public and private sector partnership.

Background

Andy Street held a number of roles in the retail sector prior to taking over as the managing director of John Lewis in 2007. During his tenure he also acted as chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. He stood down from his position at John Lewis to stand as a candidate for the Mayor of the West Midlands.

He stood as the Conservative candidate in the West Midlands mayoral election and was elected to the role in May 2017.

The combined authority

In his role as directly elected mayor, Andy Street is the chair of the West Midlands combined authority. The combined authority is made up ofBirmingham City Council, City of Wolverhampton Council, Coventry City Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Walsall Council.

For further information, see the combined authorities page.

Devolution deal highlights

The devolution deal for the West Midlands made provision for a range of responsibilities to be devolved to the combined authority and the directly elected mayor.

Key powers and functions included in the devolution deal are listed below:

  • Responsibility for a consolidated transport budget, with a multi-year settlement.
  • Responsibility for the Adult Education Budget from 2018.
  • Establishment of a West Midlands Investment Fund to which central government will allocate an additional £36m a year over 30 years.
  • Responsibility for franchised bus services.
  • Piloting 100% retention of business rates as of April 2017.

Detailed information on the powers of the directly elected mayor and the West Midlands combined authority can be found on our devolution deals page.

Mayoral priorities

  • Build 25,000 new homes by 2020 and always prioritise construction on brownfield sites.
  • Reduce the youth unemployment rate in the region to zero by the end of first term.
  • Create a Mayor's Digital Skills Institute to lead digital training efforts in the region.

What is the LGA doing to support directly elected mayors and combined authorities?

The LGA has worked closely with combined authorities, providing a wide range of support to areas at varying stages of the devolution process. This work has now extended to support for the six new directly elected mayors as they take on their roles as the chairs of combined authorities and members of the LGA. We will also continue to offer support to all aspiring devolution areas and work with the new Government on alternative governance models for devolution.

For further information on the LGA’s support offer, visit the devolution support page