Elected Mayor races hotting up: candidates emerge in Leicester, Birmingham & Liverpool

Phil Redmond

Brookside creator, Phil Redmond, is expected to run for Mayor of Liverpool (c)bbc.co.uk

After Eric Pickles backed down on imposing elected Mayors in 12 cities, plans are now gearing up for referenda to be held on the 5th May 2011 in:  Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Wakefield.

In Leicester there might be an earlier referendum.   Leicester Mercurys’ political reporter David Maclean, who by the way runs a great blog about local politics, reports that the Labour Party in the City is going to trigger a referendum.    Some city politicians have already declared that they will be candidates, promiment amongst them is former council Leader and current  Leicester South MP Sir Peter Soulsby.    Conservative Councillor and former parliamentary candidate Ross Grant might be a contender, as too could former Liberal Democrat MP Parmjit Singh Gill.  There is no guarantee of course that the voters will back the plans in Leicester or in the other 11 cities: of the 37 referendums that have been held to date voters have only opted for an elected Mayor in 13 towns and cities.

Over in Liverpool however there is an active campaign for an elected Mayor.  Potential candidates talked about in the City include council Leader Joe Anderson and his Lib Dem predecessor Warren Bradley, while the Brookside creator Phil Redmond is a big figure in the City.  He is a prominent backer of David Cameron’s Big Society plans.

Meanwhile in Birmingham speculation centres on the cities current political Leaders, the Conservative Council Leader Mike Whitby and his opposite number Sir Albert Bore.   The former Labour MP Sion Simon stood down from parliament earlier this year declaring that he was going to run for Mayor.    Lord Digby Jones is just one of the business Leaders that might come forward.  As far back as 2006 Digby declared his ambition to be elected Mayor and he will back the Yes campaign in the referendum.   Football business woman turned Alan Sugar sidekick, Karen Brady, is also rumoured to be interested.

If there is interest I’ll follow up with a post on the possible runners and riders in the other referendum cities, please post a comment, speculation welcome too.

    1. Mick Castle says:

      I hope that Elected Mayors will be the trigger for reconnecting the public with local government. Things can’t stay as they are.

    2. Mick Castle says:

      I hope that Elected Mayors will be the means to reconnect the public with local democracy.
      Do nothing isn’t an option.

    3. Mick Castle says:

      There will be an Elected Mayor referendum too in Great Yarmouth in March 2011.
      Yarmouth has an 800+ years tradition of self-government but lost unitary status
      in 1974. It boasts a new £80,000,000 Outer Harbour and is the site for a new
      Regional Casino. Both Conservative and Labour parties prefer the “Status Quo” but a broadly-based “YES to a Great Yarmouth Elected Mayor” campaign includes leading 3 Labour Councillors, a Lib Dem activist, UKIP County Councillor and some prominent local business people. One to watch! Will nearby Norwich City follow their lead?

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