I have had several conversations over recent weeks about the merits or not of a Leeds Mayor.

There are a fair number who believe that a figurehead is essential to get things done.  To short-cut the party politics and the endless debates.

Then there are some who see concentration of power as a bad thing no matter whose hands it is concentrated in.

Then there is a third group who are for it – as long as they get the Mayor they want.  These are the pragmatists.  The business lobby, by and large, want a heavyweight business type with the power and the stature to make things happen.  To bang heads together.  To get Whitehall and the Treasury on board to invest in physical infrastructure.  To grow the economy, create wealth and make it all OK.

Some want a Mayor who will offer a different narrative – one that puts people at the top of the list rather than the economy.  Who sees the economy as a product of creative people doing their stuff with passion and respect.  Who gets the long term challenges of a one planet economy and understand the potential of inclusive people powered progress as an alternative to a business led renaissance.

So, let the conversation start!


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