Could city still get an elected mayor?
THE door to having a mayor for Greater Nottingham could well be opened – and you might not get the chance to have your say on it.
The city may have said "no" to an elected mayor last year but, under new plans, a mayor for the city, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe could become reality.
Former MP Lord Michael Heseltine wrote a report in November about how to boost regional growth and this included plans for mayors in wider city conurbations.
Lord Heseltine recommended the Government hold an "urgent consultation" on the issue and said that where local support was "broad", the Government should act to make the idea a reality "without a referendum".
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But the deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: "We've been through this before and the people of Nottingham rejected the idea. It cost £2 million across the country and only Bristol went for it.
"We get on well with our neighbours – we might not have similar politics, but we co-operate on a number of projects, like broadband and the Boots site, already.
"The mayor stuff is a fad. If we had a mayor for the conurbation, it would mean six council leaders to fall out with potentially. There are bigger and more important things to be thinking about than mayors when it comes to growth."
The plan for conurbation mayors was one of 89 recommendations that Lord Heseltine made to help boost the regional economy.
Of these, 81 were taken up by the Government, including the award of £500,000 to Local Enterprise Partnerships for plans to create growth.
Speaking about the mayoral debate, Lord Heseltine said: "I was disappointed more cities did not choose to opt for a mayor. It confirmed my fear that relatively few would vote and that party loyalties would determine the outcomes. I believe this issue needs to be revisited to give our cities the influence and leadership commonly found in similar economies."
"We also need to strengthen the legislation that underpins combined and other authorities that want to collaborate to ensure local people can choose whether to elect a mayor. They should also be able to do so for wider city conurbations."
A joint report in response to the recommendations by the Treasury and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, said: "The Government will legislate as necessary to make this all possible, but does not intend to impose additional duties on local authorities."