Directly elected mayors from across the UK gathered last week as part of the NLGN / IDeA Mayoral Forum.
The meeting at Newham Town Hall was hosted by Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham. Welcoming the opportunity to meet with his mayoral colleagues, Sir Robin commented:
“The position of directly elected mayor is still very new and there is much political and media attention focused on us and our achievements. It is therefore good to meet to discuss common issues and to learn from each others good practice”.
On behalf of NLGN, Head of Organisation, Anna Randle added:
“These meeting are invaluable for the mayors who, despite differences in their politics and type of authority, have key challenges in common”.
Having heard Sir Robin Wales’ account of a recent fact-finding trip to the US, the meeting allowed the nine mayors present to reflect on their shared experiences, and to consider how best they tackle the particular challenges they are facing in post. Afterwards, a number of those present at the meeting commented on the proceedings:
“It was reassuring to note that we all share the same concerns on a range of issues. I feel the Community Leadership role is one which we were all enjoying”.
Dorothy Thornhill, Elected Mayor for Watford
“Directly elected mayors getting together to share experience is essential to their success. Executive mayors are an integral part of the transformation of of local government and making a real difference to the people ‘out there’”
Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham
“A number of positive issues were addressed and I believe the group has an opportunity to lay the foundations for a succession of Councils adopting a directly-elected Mayor. I look forward to sharing views and an on-going dialogue with other members of the ‘First Eleven’”.
Tony Egginton, Executive Mayor for Mansfield
“Those of us who were elected last May have now been in office for just over six months and it was once again interesting to share experiences with other Mayors, particularly those elected in October. I firmly believe that the unique nature of the Mayoral model means that our experiences and pressures are becoming quite different from those of other Council leaders. There are several issues emerging and by working together we are beginning to identify common solutions to common problems.”
Martin Winter, Mayor of Doncaster
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NLGN is an independent think-tank, seeking to transform public services, revitalise local political leadership and empower local communities.