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Mayoral elections put on fast track

Elections for up to 11 new city mayors are being fast-tracked to November.

Communities minister Greg Clark is to unveil the new timetable, which the Government hopes could help boost economic revival.

Birmingham, Liverpool, and Bristol are widely expected to vote in favour of directly-elected city mayors when referendums are held on May 3.

Residents in Bradford, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield are also being polled.

Speaking in Birmingham, Mr Clark will say the resulting mayoral elections will be held on a "Super Thursday" of November 15 - the same date as polls for around 40 police commissioners.

"Elected mayors provide cities with the strong, visible leadership that can help them prosper nationally and internationally," he will insist. "This is an opportunity for each city to transform itself for the better.

"The world's great cities have mayors who lead for their city on the national and international stage, attracting investment and jobs. We believe that mayors can help English cities achieve their full potential too.

"This May, the people of our cities will have the chance to have their say. Now is the time to start weighing up what a mayor could do for your city."

More than a dozen MPs could be vying for either the mayoral or the new police posts.

David Cameron and regeneration adviser Lord Heseltine are believed to have supported bringing the elections forward. However, other Conservatives - including Communities Secretary Eric Pickles - are said to be sceptical of the initiative.


From Belfast Telegraph