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What does the Mayor do?

On 6 May 2021, Greater Manchester will re-elect its mayor.

If you are registered to vote in the council districts of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford or Wigan, you will be eligible to vote in this election.

In 2011, these ten councils created the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), led by the ten council leaders. Since then, the GMCA has made six agreements with central government, which have seen significant powers and responsibilities devolved to the region, leading to the election of the city region’s first Mayor in 2017.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester

The Mayor of Greater Manchester is a major figure in the political life of the region, entrusted with unique powers and responsibilities.

The Mayor’s responsibilities include setting budgets and priorities for Greater Manchester’s public services including transport and the fire and rescue service; Police and Crime Commissioner responsibilities, and acting as an ambassador for the city region.

The elected Mayor works together with the GMCA to deliver their vision for Greater Manchester.


Transport is a hugely important part of the Greater Manchester Strategy, which calls for world-class connectivity that keeps Greater Manchester moving, and the role of the Mayor in improving Greater Manchester’s transport networks is crucial.

The Mayor, in consultation with the Combined Authority, is responsible for the Local Transport Plan which sets out Greater Manchester’s transport priorities for the short, medium and longer term. 

The Mayor also has responsibility for key aspects of transport funding, including capital funding for new infrastructure and revenue funding to support the operation of transport services; all of which support the delivery of the Local Transport Plan on the ground.

The Mayor also has a number of specific transport powers, for example relating to bus services. For buses, to the extent permitted in the current deregulated environment, all key decisions are taken by the Mayor, in consultation with the Combined Authority, with some decisions delegated to the Greater Manchester Transport Committee, for example those relating to supporting local bus services. 

And as chair of the Combined Authority, the Mayor has broader influence over the wider transport agenda, for example in relation to concessionary fares, cycling and walking and rail.

Planning and housing

The Mayor of Greater Manchester has important powers over housing and planning within the region, including control of the £300 million Greater Manchester Housing Investment Fund. Through the devolution agreement the Mayor has a duty to produce a Spatial Development Strategy (SDS). This is a plan that covers the Mayoral Combined Authority administrative area and requires unanimous support of the GMCA.

The GMCA has functions in relation to housing and regeneration which are exercised concurrently with the Homes and Communities Agency. The power to acquire land under these powers is exercisable by the Mayor and requires the consent of all members of the GMCA appointed by the constituent councils whose area contains any part of the land subject to the proposed compulsory acquisition.


The Mayor of Greater Manchester has the responsibilities of a Police and Crime Commissioner. They  are the public’s voice on policing matters, with duties including setting the policing budget and preparing the Police and Crime Plan that decides the priorities for Greater Manchester Police. The Chief Constable retains responsibility for operational matters.

Fire and Rescue

The Mayor of Greater Manchester is responsible for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. The Mayor sets the budget and strategic priorities for the service, whilst operational matters remain the responsibility of the Chief Fire Officer.

Decision Making

The elected Mayor of Greater Manchester is the Chair and eleventh member of GMCA. The ten council leaders also sit on the GMCA and take decisions as GMCA, as well as leading their own councils.