Friday 19 April 2024
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East Midlands Mayor: What will the mayor do and how are they chosen?

A £4 billion investment in the future of the East Midlands will be guided by a public vote.

Derbyshire, Derby, Nottinghamshire and Nottingham have opened the door to a massive investment in transport, skills, housing and the environment after securing a deal to set up a combined county authority covering the region.

East Midlands Mayor

But what the Combined County Authority does will be led by a mayor – and the public gets to decide who that mayor is.

The first-ever election for a Mayor of the East Midlands will take place on Thursday 2 May, and a campaign has just been launched to encourage people to head to the polls on voting day.

The £4 billion investment has been made possible after the government agreed to give up some of its powers and transfer them to the mayor and combined county authority through a landmark devolution deal agreed in 2022.

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The move means that the East Midlands will be on an equal footing with areas like the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire, where elected mayors have secured similar large-scale investment pots.

What will the East Midlands Mayor do?

An elected mayor will give the East Midlands a voice at the national table able to make the case for much greater investment from both government and private sector.

The East Midlands deal is one of the biggest so far, and the team setting up the combined county authority say the mayor will have the powers and resources to begin a long-term process of growing the region’s economy by investing in skills that lead to better jobs, transport that works better across the region, housing where it’s needed and an economy equipped to deal with net zero.

Mark Rogers, interim Chief Executive of the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) said: “This is a big deal in every sense. It’s on a scale that the East Midlands hasn’t seen before, and gives it the powers and resources it needs to turn round under-investment, tackle challenges and open up massive new opportunities for people and places.

“This is all about bringing power back to the East Midlands, and the most significant part of that process is the vote – the people will decide who’ll lead this transformation.”

Campaign

The campaign to encourage voting is based on the shift of powers from Westminster to the East Midlands. With a slogan ‘here, not there’ it promotes the powers the mayor will have to take big decisions about the future of the East Midlands ‘here’ in the region rather than ‘there’ in London.

East Midlands Combined Council Authority

The combined county authority is being formed by Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council and was developed in partnership with district and borough councils across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Leaders and deputy leaders from each authority will sit on the combined county authority, but they’ll also be advised by specialists from different parts of the community.

This includes a business advisory board that will be developed by the interim representative for business, David Williams, who chairs the law firm Geldards, which has a major office presence in both Derby and Nottingham.

He said: “This is going to make a huge difference to the East Midlands and there’s a clear emphasis on investing in projects and places that are going to support a long-term improvement to people’s lives.

“This is why it’s so important that everyone out there has their say. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest billions of pounds in people’s futures – so our people need to decide who they want to make the key decisions.”

The mayor will lead a combined county authority that is being given powers currently held by Westminster to invest over the long-term in priorities like transport, skills, housing and regeneration and net zero. It won’t duplicate what local councils do.

The object is to invest in ways that suit the East Midlands, making it easier to travel across different East Midlands transport networks, matching skills to what the region’s businesses do, enabling house building and land regeneration where it’s needed and exploiting the region’s strengths in net zero technologies to create a robust, renewable energy system.

The EMCCA is being funded by government and will not take money away from existing council budgets.

 

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