Ellie Ames 25 April 2024

What is a metro mayor?

What is a metro mayor? image
Image: Tupungato / Shutterstock.com.

A metro mayor is directly elected by local people to oversee a region’s combined authority.

Combined authorities are legal bodies that are set up when two or more councils agree to collaborate and make collective decisions across their boundaries.

The mayor and the combined authority exercise powers and functions devolved to them from the Government and set out in devolution deals.

What powers do metro mayors have?

Metro mayors’ powers and funding levels vary across combined authorities and depend on the devolution deal that has been agreed with the Government. Devolution deals range from level 1 to level 4, but only level 3 and 4 deals require a directly elected mayor.

Typically, metro mayors’ powers relate to housing, transport and education and skills.

Additional powers can be devolved to combined authorities with ‘trailblazer’ deals.

When were metro mayors introduced and what parts of England do they cover?

The first devolution deal was announced by the Government and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in November 2014.

In 2017, the first metro mayors were elected in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, the Liverpool City Region, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the Tees Valley and the West of England.

South Yorkshire, then known as the Sheffield City Region, elected its first metro mayor in 2018, followed by the North of Tyne in 2019 and West Yorkshire in 2021.

In the 2024 local elections, the first metro mayors were elected in York and North Yorkshire, the East Midlands, and the North East, where the North of Tyne is being absorbed into a larger combined authority.

How are metro mayors elected?

Political parties can select a candidate for the position, although candidates can also be independent.

Metro mayors are elected by residents every four years, using the ‘First Past the Post’ system.

What is the difference between a metro mayor, local authority mayor and lord mayor?

Metro mayors are responsible for the whole combined authority region. Local authorities in England and Wales can also choose to have a political management arrangement that involves a directly elected mayor.

Civic or Lord mayors are ceremonial positions held without decision making powers.

Who are England’s metro mayors?

  • Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester)
  • Richard Parker (West Midlands)
  • Steve Rotheram (Liverpool City Region)
  • Nik Johnson (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough)
  • Ben Houchen (Tees Valley)
  • Dan Norris (West of England)
  • Oliver Coppard (South Yorkshire)
  • Tracy Brabin (West Yorkshire)
  • Kim McGuinness (the North East)
  • David Skaith (York and North Yorkshire)
  • Claire Ward (East Midlands)

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, exercises similar powers but London has a different model of devolution. The role was established in 2000 along with the London Assembly.

Planning London under Labour image

Planning London under Labour

Grant Leggett, Executive Director and Head of Boyer’s London planning team, looks at the impact of a future Labour government on planning in London.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Building, Property Information and Compliance Manager

City of York Council
£47,760 to £54,463
We are looking for a motivated manager with experience of leading diverse and challenging teams. North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Applications Support Analyst

West Northamptonshire Council
£33,369 - £36,163
Fixed Term Contract until March 2025 (possibility to extend) Join our dynamic team as a 2nd/3rd Line Applications Support Analyst and play a pivotal role in supporting our systems and applications. This second-line position involves handling technical an Northampton
Recuriter: West Northamptonshire Council

Assistant Director for Education

Essex County Council
Assistant Director for EducationPermanent, Full Time£97,874 Per AnnumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Technician NRSWA Inspector

Derbyshire County Council
£27,507 - £29,418 per annum
Within the Highways Directorate we are looking for an enthusiastic, customer focused and experienced person to join the Service Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Strategic Manager SEND

Stoke-on-Trent City Council
£70,999 - £74,630
Want to feel proud of your achievements every day? Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Recuriter: Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.