Minister insists Government not imposing mayors

Local Government Minister Marcus Jones
Local Government Minister Marcus Jones
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AREAS WANTING more control over their own affairs will not be forced to adopt elected mayors but must put measures in place to ensure new powers are used properly, a minister has said.

Local Government Minister Marcus Jones insisted there was not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to devolution.

It has been suggested that Theresa May is unconvinced of the merits of directly-elected metro mayors which has raised hopes that a stumbling block on discussions with West, North and East Yorkshire could be removed.

While her predecessor David Cameron, along with former chancellor George Osborne, both insisted areas did not have to agree to new mayors as a condition of devolution deals it was clear there were limits on powers given to those areas which refused.

Mr Jones told MPs that “each deal will be negotiated to meet the needs of the area in question” but there must also be “effective, efficient and accountable governance arrangements”.

He was speaking in a debate called by Elmet and Rothwell MP Alec Shelbrooke on reform of councils.

Mr Shelbrooke has produced a report calling for wide-ranging changes including the abolition of two-tier councils.

Time to scrap two-tier councils - Shelbrooke