On Thursday 4 May 2017, Greater Manchester will elect a mayor for the first time.
If you are registered to vote in local elections for any of the district councils of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford or Wigan, you will be eligible to vote in this election.
In 2011 the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) was established, led by the ten council leaders. Since June 2015 there has been an Interim Mayor, who has acted as the GMCA’s eleventh member and Chair. Following the May 2017 election the position of Interim Mayor will be replaced by a directly elected Mayor of Greater Manchester. The ten leaders will form the Mayor’s cabinet, whilst continuing to lead their own councils.
The Mayor and GMCA will be able to work with the ten constituent councils, local services, central government and other organisations in pursuing shared goals.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester
The Mayor of Greater Manchester will be a major figure in the political life of the region and will have various powers and responsibilities.
The responsibilities of the Greater Manchester Police & Crime Commissioner will be merged with those of the Mayor and the former position will cease to exist. The functions of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority will be transferred to the GMCA and will be exercised by the Mayor. The Mayor will also be empowered to exercise functions of the GMCA in other areas, as further detailed below.
The Mayor will be a member, and chair, of the GMCA and will act as an ambassador for the region.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester will be responsible for preparing the Local Transport Plan (with agreement of the Plan being subject to two thirds majority approval of the GMCA). The Mayor will also be responsible for the transport budget devolved from central government and (subject to future legislation) regulated bus services and smart ticketing.
Planning and Housing
The Mayor of Greater Manchester will have powers relating to housing and planning within the region. This will include control of the £300 million Greater Manchester Housing Investment Fund. The Mayor will also have the power to create a spatial development strategy for the whole of Greater Manchester.
The Mayor’s planning powers do not override those of local councils and the spatial development strategy cannot be adopted unless it has the unanimous approval of the Members of the GMCA.
The responsibilities of the Greater Manchester Police & Crime Commissioner will be merged with those of the Mayor and the former position will cease to exist. The Mayor will exercise the functions of the Police & Crime Commissioner.
The Mayor’s duties will include setting the policing budget and preparing the Police & Crime Plan that decides the priorities for Greater Manchester Police.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester will take on the responsibility for exercising the functions that currently rest with the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Authority. The Mayor will make budgetary and strategic decisions relating to fire and rescue functions, but will be able to establish a Fire Committee to oversee the day-to-day functions of the Fire & Rescue Service.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester will be a member, and chair, of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The ten council leaders will form the Mayor’s cabinet. The Mayor will be able to make some decisions independently but some of the Mayor’s decisions will also require consultation with and the approval of the GMCA. Furthermore, certain decisions of the GMCA will be non-mayoral decisions, which will be made by the GMCA itself (although the Mayor will be involved as one of the eleven GMCA members).
The decisions of the Mayor (that do not relate to police and crime commissioner functions), along with decisions made by the GMCA itself, will be subject to scrutiny by one or more overview and scrutiny committees made up of members of the 10 constituent councils. A police and crime panel will scrutinise the decisions of the Mayor that relate to police and crime commissioner functions.