Yes 2 Leeds Mayor

It seem that the Yes 2 mayors lobby is getting itself organised with a website http://yes2mayors.com/ that has a dedicated Leeds page – a little light on content and I would wager not written by anyone with a real first hand experience of the city judging by the prose, but at least it is there.

There is also a twitter account @yes2leedsmayor which re-assure us that ministers and lords are supporting the Yes to Leeds Mayor campaign…

So where is the no lobby?  Well it doesn’t seem that there is one.  At least not on a national basis although councillors in several cities seem to be mounting no campaigns.  I guess they would rather have the chance of electing their own preferred candidate to lead the council rather than run the risk of a directly elected mayor.

A Super Authority with a Super Mayor?

The mayors for cities thing does not seem to fit that well with the whole agenda for a city region and a Local Enterprise Partnership.

We seem to have got it fixed in that the the Leeds City Region and the Local Enterprise Partnership are at least covering the same patch – even if that does mean stretching the definitions of ‘Local’ a little.

But where will the Mayors fit in?

I believe that Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield in the City Region have been invited to have referenda on whether or not they want mayors.  If they vote YES will these mayors simply replace local authority representation on the Leeds City Region?  And how will that help to develop a balanced City Region?

Perhaps the Leeds City Region will evolve into a super authority with a Super Mayor to go with it?

Conflicted!

My instincts tell me that centralising power in an individual is a mistake.  Broadly speaking power needs to be distributed rather concentrated.  It needs to be left where many people can find it and use it rather than given to a heroic leadership figure.

But, there is a fair chance that a Mayor for Leeds will come marching over that hill.  So it seem sensible to think about what kind of mayor and what kind of policies, plans and strategies we might like him/her/it to pursue.

Manifesto for a Leeds Mayor

What would you most love to see in a Manifesto for a Leeds Mayor*?

What ideas, policies and strategies might really help to transform the city?

Don’t be shy!  Say it as you see it…..

Leave a comment.  Offer a blog post. Whatever you like.

*Apologies for the gendered language…..