Does England Need More Mayors?

On the occasion of recent elections in England that saw the defeat eight of the nine referendums seeking approval for directly elected mayors, Peter Hetherington laments the state of local governance in the country.

Hetherington argues that cities across England would benefit from having directly elected mayors with powers over transportation, strategic planning, housing, policing and the economy, similar to those enjoyed by Boris Johnson, current (and recently re-elected) mayor of London.

So why did recent referendums seeking to accomplish this fail so miserably? According to Hetherington, "The problem, acknowledged by Liberal Democrat peer Lord [John] Shipley, former Newcastle city council leader and cities adviser to the government, is that voters were unconvinced by the case for an elected mayor – because no one had explained what problem needed solving."

Hetherington looks across the Channel, to France, for an example of the benefits of strong local governance. "In France today – with strong mayors or city regions, often both – the national economy is proving more balanced than in Britain, with wealth and power spread more evenly across the country, rather than concentrated in one capital."

Full Story: City mayors need Boris-style powers


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.