Commenting on speculation around the role of Mayors as part of devolution in England, Chris Richards, Senior Business Environment Policy Adviser at EEF, says:
"Today's speculation on the watering down of the role of Mayors as part of devolution in England is nothing new, local authorities have historically had challenges putting aside their differences and working together in pursuit of growth. One of the advantages of how devolution is being approached is the requirement for local authorities to think more strategically across borders about how best to support their economies. These regional decisions need a strong regional mandate.
While Mayors may be unpopular with elected councillors – due to the loss of potential status, businesses, who are the ones who will ultimately deliver local growth, do see the benefit. Mayors are a strong part of supporting sub-national economic development as they would help to stabilise decision making at the local level which manufacturers feel had been subject to frequent changes in the past.”