Theresa May has told councillors that significant devolution deals will require an elected mayor, the LGC reported this week. This follows Sajid Javid saying in an interview with the Financial Times that with ‘no mayor, [comes] no powers’.
The clarity will be welcomed by some, but many areas, such as Cumbria and Devon & Somerset, had hoped that they would be able to secure devolution deals without having a mayor. Some areas, such as Sheffield City Region, have delayed legislating for mayoral elections in the same hope. Moreover, it was reported on Wednesday that Sajid Javid had said an elected mayor for the proposed smaller North East Devo deal may not be necessary, due to it not being a ‘workable economic region’.
While up to nine areas have a provisional date of May 2017 for mayoral elections, only three have legislated for them: Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, and the West Midlands. At current speeds they may be the only three going to the polls in May, according to Lord Porter, Chair of the Local Government Association.