Directly elected mayors in the United Kingdom

Directly Elected Mayors In The United Kingdom

Directly elected mayors in the United Kingdom

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Directly elected mayors are council leaders elected by the general electorate of a council area for local government, instead of being appointed by members of a local authority, which is common in the United Kingdom. The Elected Mayor is elected from a number of candidates who put themselves up for election by all the electorate of a council area. The post is different from that of Lord Mayor, which is ceremonial.


The first directly elected mayor was introduced in Greater London in 2000 as part of the statutory provisions of the Greater London Authority Act 1999. Elsewhere in England and Wales, since the Local Government Act 2000, there have been a range of options for how a local council leadership can be constituted, and installing a directly elected mayor is one of these options. It is possible to introduce or remove the office of mayor in any local council, other than the Greater London Authority, by triggering a local referendum with a signed petition. There are currently twelve directly elected mayors, including the Mayor of London.

In 2000, the Labour government led by Tony Blair passed the Local Government Act 2000, which introduced the option of directly elected mayors (also known as directly elected Council Leaders) for local authorities in England and Wales. The Act ended the previous committee-based system, where functions were exercised by committees of the council, and produced three distinct methods of local authority administration (and the...
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