Two step forward for Greater Manchester interim mayor

17 Apr 15

Two candidates have been confirmed for the post of interim mayor of Greater Manchester following the close of the nominations process.

Greater Manchester’s police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd and the current chair of the region’s combined authority Lord Peter Smith have put their name forward.

An interim mayor will be appointed following the devolution deal agreed between the combined authority and central government last November.

Following the creation of the post, the combined authority will get more control over transport, housing, planning and policing policy, while the role of Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner will be scrapped.

A spokesman told Public Finance that the leaders of the ten councils that make up the combined authority, minus Smith, would select who would hold the interim post, ahead of the first election in 2017.

‘The deadline to apply to become interim mayor of Greater Manchester has passed and we can confirm that there are two applicants: Tony Lloyd and Lord Peter Smith. The successful candidate will be selected in late May and appointed at the end of June.

‘The interim mayor will provide leadership for Greater Manchester during the transitional period up to May 2017 when a directly elected mayor will be created, subject to legislation.’

Announcing his candidacy, Lloyd said that ‘all eyes were on Greater Manchester’ after the deal, and subsequent proposals for devolve NHS funding to the combined authority.

‘Some are hoping we succeed and prove devolved government can deliver a more equal and prosperous Britain, but there will be some waiting for it to fail. ‘That brings a great responsibility for us and all England’s city and county regions and it’s a challenge I am ready for.

‘Our communities cannot wait for London and the South East to trickle down economic growth nor can we accept that one or two small parts of Greater Manchester succeeding is success for each of the ten boroughs. I will work to ensure that the benefits of economic success can be felt right across Greater Manchester be that through decent jobs, housing development, training and education opportunities, better, cheaper and further reaching transport links, reduced crime or better health outcomes.’

Smith, who is also the leader of Wigan council, said he was standing because of his experience as chair of the combined authority.

‘The big agenda for us is about economic reform and changing public services,’ he stated.



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