Elected mayors essential for ‘local accountability’

Despite concerns from county leaders, the government has reiterated its commitment to directly elected mayors, labelling them a ‘real red line’.

Speaking to the County Councils Network (CCN), Communities Secretary Sajid Javid spoke about how local government can tackle the challenges of a changing world.

While he acknowledged that elected mayors were not ‘universally popular’ within local government, Javid claimed that they remain an essential part of the devolution process and necessary to increase local accountability.

Discussing the CCN’s recent report in unitary authorities reform, Javid said: “I think unitary status can be a great model. And, as we’ve seen from the CCN reports being published last week, it has the potential to save a lot of money. But I’m not for one moment saying it’s for everyone. And I’m certainly not saying that I want to make every council go unitary. This is not compulsory. It’s not going to be imposed.”