Yet, at the same time, there will be taxpayers, and families, who will react with dismay to the recommendation that the successful candidate here will command an annual allowance of £105,000 – significantly more than an MP’s salary or the take-home pay of a great many of their future constituents.
However such knee-jerk reactions do need to be tempered – certainly for now. The winner will assume responsibility for policing and, therefore, the package is comparable with Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham, who commands £110,000 for this dual role.
And given the potential of the mayoral role, a legacy of Mr Sunak’s Budget in March 2020, to attract a new era of inward investment, and fairer share of national infrastructure funding to begin to tackle those inequalities that are such a lag on prosperity, it could be very good value for money.
That said, there have been concerns in the past about West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s empire-building. It still has to prove itself as a dynamic and effective body accountable to the people. As such, there will be an onus on the new mayor to be totally transparent over their expenses, staff costs and meeting. Trust will have to be earned and this region can ill-afford a repeat of the type of governance failings that have so sullied Welcome to Yorkshire’s reputation in recent times.
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