Letter to: Feedback, The Gazette
TeessideTogether – 31 December 2015
It is interesting to read George Dunning’s letter ‘Mayor should be non-political’ (Feedback, 29.12.15) where he calls for the election of a truly independent mayor of the soon to be combined authority.
His reasoning is sound, referring to the potential for any Labour mayor becoming nothing more than a ‘puppet’ due to all five local authorities already having Labour leaders.
The bad news George is that the recently produced ‘Devolution Deal’ document drafted by the councils already includes scope for such political gerrymandering, Section 3, para 3.3, “in order to use his/her powers the Mayor would need to have the support of the majority of local authority leaders.”
This flies in the face of the basic devolution principle of having a mayor accountable to government and not local politicians. More interesting to note is the fact that such information has not been communicated to the residents of Teesside and Darlington, where unlike in Durham, we residents are not being consulted at all.
Dave Roberts, Chairman, TeessideTogether.