Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Devolution Debate Must Not Be Derailed ; VIEWPOINTSWrite To: Viewpoints, MEN, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Oldham, OL9 8EF or Email: Viewpoints@men- News.Co.UK

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Devolution Debate Must Not Be Derailed ; VIEWPOINTSWrite To: Viewpoints, MEN, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Oldham, OL9 8EF or Email: Viewpoints@men- News.Co.UK

Article excerpt

IT is a shame that defeated Tory candidate Bob Goodall (Viewpoints, Nov 5) uses news of devolution for Greater Manchester as an excuse to spit out his venom against Salford's elected mayor.

The fatal flaw in his argument is that Labour opposed an elected mayor for Salford and the Tory party backed an elected mayor.

Salford Labour Party felt it put too much power into the hands of one person. And elected mayor Ian Stewart believes so too. That is why he has devolved decision-making more than any other directlyelected mayor in the country.

But the real crime of Mr Goodall is to drag down a crucial debate about devolution into the realm of party political spite. I say 'devolution' rather than 'elected mayor' because discussion around an elected mayor misses the point.

The success of Greater Manchester has been down to the culture of collaboration established between the ten democratically elected councils. Putting aside geography and party politics, the leaders of the councils have worked together to secure major investment in the region and put in place strategies for sustainable growth.

Those plans need more power and resources being devolved to Greater Manchester to ensure that they can be implemented. But they will only succeed if the ten councils continue to work effectively together.

It seems national politicians think that an elected mayor for Greater Manchester - effectively another layer of bureaucracy - symbolises their commitment to devolution so Greater Manchester leaders have reluctantly accepted it as price worth paying for devolution.

The challenge is to ensure that an elected mayor with a different mandate to the ten councils does not become a source of conflict but settles into the existing successful team. The proposed governance arrangements seem to offer that comfort.

The real risk is that if we focus on an elected mayor being our salvation, rather than the devolution of power and resources, we will destroy the very thing that has driven Greater Manchester's success: its culture of collaboration. Coun Derek Antrobus, Assistant mayor for planning, Salford City Council ? I HAVE just finished reading your article re: a Greater Manchester mayor. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.