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What powers will the Mayor have and are these different to the council leader?

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6 months 5 days ago #21 by Anonymous
What powers will the Mayor have and are these different to the council leader?

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6 months 5 days ago #22 by Lee Cooper
The powers of the mayor have broadly similar functions to that of the council leader. These are described as either "exclusive" powers or "co-decision" powers and are defined in the Local Government (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000.

Co-decision powers are those the mayor shares with the council, notably the power to make the local authority's annual budget and its policy framework documents. These are: Annual Library Plan; Best Value Performance Plan; Children's Services Plan; Community Care Plan; Community Strategy; Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy; Early Years Development Plan; Education Development Plan; Local Development Framework; and the Youth Justice Plan. To amend or reject a mayor's proposals for any of these documents, the council must resolve to do so by a two-thirds majority. This is again based on secondary legislation, in this case the Local Government (Standing Orders) (England) Regulations 2001.

Exclusive powers are less easy to define, because they consist of all the powers that are granted to a local authority by Act of Parliament except those defined either as co-decision powers or as "not to be the responsibility of an authority's executive". This latter is a limited list, including quasi-judicial decisions on planning and licensing, and certain ceremonial, employment and legal decisions.

An elected mayor also has the power to appoint up to nine councillors as members of a cabinet and to delegate powers, either to them as individuals, or to the Mayor and Cabinet committee, or to subcommittees of the Mayor and Cabinet committee. In practice, the mayor remains personally accountable, so most mayors have chosen to delegate to a very limited extent—if at all.

Local authorities in Britain remain administered by a permanent staff of chief officers led by a chief executive or chief operating officer who are politically neutral bureaucrats. Their powers remain unaffected by the introduction of elected mayor. Senior officers continue to be appointed by a politically representative committee of councillors, and the mayor may not attempt to influence the decision as to who is appointed (except within the committee as a member of the committee). To maintain the staff's professional and political independence, the mayor (or any other member of the council) may not personally direct any member of staff. Accordingly, an elected mayor cannot really be accurately characterised as an executive mayor, as in parts of the US and certain other countries, but more as a semi-executive mayor.

A mayor is democratically elected by the constituents in the borough. A council leader is appointed in private by a group of councillors.

The planning committee must adhere to council policy and the Local Plan when deciding planning applications. This policy is largely controlled by the council leader, or mayor. If we dislike the policy currently, we have no recourse. If there were a mayor, we would have the power to vote against decisions we disagreed with.

To reiterate, the new DEMOC group are merely seeking support for a borough-wide referendum where the voters will chose if they want a mayor or not, so in essence, whether you support a mayor or not, the function they are performing is to improve democracy in Croydon.

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