Bradford residents asked if they want elected mayor

Bradford council leader David Green
Bradford council leader David Green
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Bradford council leader David Green has asked the city’s residents if they would back an elected mayor for West Yorkshire.

Coun Green also wants to hear views on what powers Bradford residents think should be exercised at a more local level.

It is the first substantial attempt by a Yorkshire council leader to gauge the public mood on the merits of elected mayors since voters rejected the idea in referendums held in Leeds, Sheffield, Wakefield and Bradford in 2012.

The issue has been put firmly back on the agenda following the Conservatives’ General Election win and Chancellor George Osborne’s insistence that any further shift of powers and money from Whitehall to a local level must be accompanied by a switch to elected mayors.

Greater Manchester has already agreed to adopt an elected mayor and it is likely any similar move this side of the Pennines would involve a single mayor covering the five West Yorkshire local authority areas.

Coun Green said: “In the Queen’s Speech the Government made it very clear that regions who opt for devolution and directly elected ‘metro mayors’ will be given additional funding and powers over transport, including running local bus companies, infrastructure and economic development, policing and health.”

He continued: “We are already talking to Bradford District businesses and local organisations to find out what they think about devolution, but I’d also like to hear the views of local people directly.

“What devolved powers do you want? What powers don’t you want devolved to the region? And are you prepared to have an elected ‘metro-mayor’ in order to gain devolved powers?”

Views can be emailed to WYDevolution@bradford.gov.uk.