Sir Albert Bore in Birmingham mayor bid

Sir Albert Bore Sir Albert represents the Ladywood ward

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The Labour leader of Birmingham City Council has announced his intention to stand as elected mayor for the city.

Sir Albert Bore launched his campaign on Tuesday.

Birmingham and Coventry are among 12 English cities where councils could hold referenda next May as part of the Localism Bill going through Parliament.

Ex-Ladywood MP Clare Short has said she is interested in standing and Sion Simon quit as an MP last May after announcing his intention to take part.

If Birmingham votes in favour of an elected mayor next May, elections for the post would be held in May 2013 and successful candidates would serve four-year terms.

'Be part of it'

Supporters of the idea have said they provide a focal point for a city and can make better use of council budgets, driving forward efficiencies.

Stoke-on-Trent was the first authority in England to have one but scrapped the system after six years.

Sir Albert, who once led the council before it became a Conservative and Lib Dem coalition, said the city would "benefit hugely" from the new position.

He said: "The Localism Bill is still on its way through Parliament, and, whilst there may well be changes to aspects of the Bill relating to the elected mayor issues, it's almost certain that in 2012 there will be a referendum on whether Birmingham and other major cities should have directly elected mayors.

"There needs to be a 'Yes' campaign. I want to be part of it.

"I believe Birmingham would benefit hugely from a directly elected mayor."

The other cities to hold referendums are Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield.

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