Council leader would stand if public voted for elected mayor

Coun Peter Box
Coun Peter Box

THE city’s first directly-elected mayor could be voted into their seat in November if the public shows support for the new role.

Wakefield is one of 11 cities to be part of a referendum on May 3 over the introduction of a directly-elected mayor.

And if the public says ‘yes’ to the new leadership position, it would then get to choose its first mayor in a ballot on November 15.

Coun Peter Box, leader of the council, has already said he would stand for election.

He said it would be up to “the people of the district to decide” whether they wanted an elected mayor at the referendum in May but that if a ‘yes’ vote was received he would seek the Labour Party nomination for mayor.

The mayor, who would be elected for four years, would have the same role as London’s Boris Johnson, with powers similar to those of the executive committee in a ‘leader and cabinet’ model local authority. Government ministers have said the position would give cities “visible leadership”, increasing prosperity and attracting investment.

Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “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.”