Coventry & Warwickshire

Lord Adonis visits Coventry to raise mayoral debate

Lord Adonis has been visiting Coventry to gauge the city's support for an elected mayor.

The former Labour cabinet minister is advising the coalition government on its mayoral plans to increase the level of accountability in local government.

Twelve cities outside London are being given the chance to hold a referendum on the subject of elected mayors.

Lord Adonis, who leads the think tank Institute for Government, said he hoped there would be public debate about it.

The Institute for Government is an independent charity that works with all major British political parties and senior civil servants and aims to promote effective government.

'Practical authority'

Lord Adonis said: "The mayor would have a direct mandate in place of an indirect mandate at the moment.

"The argument is that by having a direct mandate they would be better known, they would have more practical authority, and they would be able get things done faster and be more strategic in the way they take things forward in the city.

"That's a big debate that needs to take place as to whether that's a good thing, over the next 16 months."

Lord Adonis visited Coventry on Friday as part of a tour of the 12 cities where the system could be implemented.

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

Referendums are due to be held on the same day as local elections in 2012.

The proposals are part of the government's Localism Bill that is designed to give more power to local people to overrule planning decisions and to approve or veto excessive council tax rises.

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