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Town in line for elected mayor?

COULD Solihull be getting its very own Boris Johnson - a public figure, voted for by you, taking the reigns of power?

COULD Solihull be getting its very own Boris Johnson - a public figure, voted for by you, taking the reigns of power?

Local Government Minister Eric Pickles can’t see why not, when asked whether the borough could get a directly-elected mayor.

Twelve cities across the UK, including Birmingham, are poised to vote on whether they want to install such a figure in their council house.

“Solihull’s not one of the 12 but I think there’s an opportunity in every metropolitan council,” said Mr Pickles.

“The powers are there for the people of Solihull if they decide that this is something they want.”

A directly-elected mayor is voted into power by the people and remains in office for four years.

While traditional mayors are ceremonial figures, their elected counterparts have considerable control over budget and policy-making.

At the moment, there are only a handful outside London but Mr Pickles wants to see more across the country.

During a visit to Solihull last month, he highlighted the differences made by dynamic mayors of years gone by, such as Birmingham’s Joe Chamberlain.

“The system gives local communities the chance to choose a candidate from across the political spectrum - that can only be a good thing,” added Mr Pickles.

Solihull, in common with most councils, is currently run by a leader and his cabinet.

* Do you like the idea of a directly-elected mayor? Who would you vote for in Solihull? Write to 150, High Street, Solihull, B91 3SX.

 

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