What are directly elected Mayors?
This is a relatively new role introduced by the last government, the Conservative led coalition, via orders under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016. Directly elected Mayors are distinct in law from the existing mayors of local authorities.
The North of Tyne Mayor will cover Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle and will work closely with the existing council leaders in these three authorities along with their cabinets. The North of Tyne Mayor will also need to work with Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham councils, in part through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NE LEP) see: http://nelep.co.uk It is through the LEP that the private sector is involved in the economic development of the whole North East region including North of Tyne.
The other parts of England that gained directly elected Mayors last year were:
• Tees Valley
• Greater Manchester
• Liverpool City Region
• West Midlands
• West of England.
What will the elected Mayor do?
The Mayor will:
- chair the board of the new North of Tyne Combined Authority
- have £600 million of extra money to invest in the North of Tyne (£20m per year for 30 years)
- acquire and dispose of land to build houses
- set up Mayoral Development Corporations to support delivery on strategic sites across the North of Tyne
- exercise compulsory purchase powers to make regeneration happen
- control the £23 million per year budget for adult education
- borrow to invest in economically productive infrastructure
- develop low carbon projects and services to help reduce emissions and tackle climate change
- become a Rural Business Scale up Champion for England, important for Northumberland
The elected Mayor will champion the North of Tyne nationally and internationally. This role is vital in ensuring our voice is heard and that we do not fall behind other areas that have elected Mayors representing their areas to central Government.
Who will choose the elected Mayor?
The elected Mayor will be elected by the voters of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. The election will take place on Thursday 2nd May 2019.
The elected Mayor will initially have a five-year term, which will be reduced to four years from 2024 onwards so that the elected Mayor will be elected at the same time as the mayors for other UK major city regions.