Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ros in the Lords - 15 June 2010

Question: Elected Mayors

Asked by Baroness Quin

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to carry out a consultation about the role and number of elected mayors.

Baroness Scott of Needham Market: I warmly congratulate the noble Baroness on her appointment. Her many years of experience in local government will be a great help to this House and to the Government. Does she agree that the creation of single-person executives requires close attention to be paid to checks and balances to prevent abuse of power? What discussions are being had on term limits such as those in other countries?

Baroness Hanham: I thank my noble friend for her very kind comments and welcome. The intention is to give mayors powers, but those powers will be subject to scrutiny by elected councils, which will have full scrutiny over what is being done. The terms of mayoralties have not yet been finalised.

Unfortunately, not the most enlightening answer from one of the more knowledgeable Conservative frontbenchers. I have to admit to doubts over elected mayors, as I deeply suspect that they act to take government further away from the people. We will see how this pans out...

1 comment:

Duncan said...

They might do that. Alternatively they might provide greater transparency regarding the mandate that the local government has, as well as providing a more legitimate figurehead than a councilor appointed by his/her peers to the role.

What bothers me is that mayors seem to be imposed. Why can't the question be put in referenda alongside local elections - we should leave it up to people to decide whether they want to have elected mayors or not.