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Metro mayors need more freedom to tax and spend

The Times

Deputy Director and Head of Levelling Up Adam Hawksbee writes for The Times on his self-authored report ‘Give Back Control’, urging Government to give greater capacity and authority to local mayors. He writes:

“Mayors can deliver more effectively, using local insight and nimbler teams to get things done. They can innovate, replicating the “laboratories of democracy” that Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 19th-century America, where new ideas were trialled by cities and states. Most importantly they have the power to convene and champion. In Teesside, Ben Houchen has used his platform as mayor to double foreign investment.

“Proper tax-raising powers are crucial because they provide the resources to deliver. But also because they make mayors beholden to taxpayers instead of Whitehall. This is where a single directly elected figure is key to accountability: eight in ten voters in Manchester and London can name their mayor, only one in ten can name their council leader.”

You can read the full piece here.

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