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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that Greater Manchester are to have one, is it time to replace/complement the ceremonial post of Lord Provost with a Mayor-type post with real powers and responsibilities over an area wider than GCC?

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/03/manchester-directly-elected-mayor

The London post may have attracted fuds of one sort or another, but there's no denying they do seem to be able to get things done.

Also fits nicely with the talk of greater devolution not only for Scotland, but to smaller entities than Holyrood.
 

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Greater Glasgow sounds too much like the old Strathclyde authority to work within a devolved Scotland. Its share of national population is far greater than Boris's London relative to England.

In any case, do you really want wee Gordon leading a Labour authority in guerrilla warfare against Nicola in Edinburgh?
 

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I did consider adding a caveat that Mathieson need not apply!

We do, however, seem to be generally rubbish at co-ordinating stuff like transport across authorities within the same conurbation, SPT seem relatively toothless these days. Is there an answer to this?
 

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Can they sort out the archaic City boundary while they're at it?
 

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We do, however, seem to be generally rubbish at co-ordinating stuff like transport across authorities within the same conurbation, SPT seem relatively toothless these days. Is there an answer to this?
Re-regulating the buses would give SPT a more influencial role and it could collaborate with Transport Scotland to improve integration with rail. Personally I'm content to leave Transport Scotland in charge of rail.
 

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Isn't the Lord Provost the equivalent of a Mayor anyway? If so, that post could just be given more powers. I'm not sure how people in Lanarkshire etc would react to the Lord Provost having powers over their areas mind you.

I definitely wouldn't want a Boris or Ken type in a mayor role, used for a bit of celebrity.

Interestingly looking at wiki, apart from two separate times the Lord Provost job has been a Labour politician since the 1930's.
 

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Yes. Glasgow and the council areas contiguous to it. I'd like to see something similar rolled out to other areas of Scotland too, it would be a good opportunity to reduce the number of councils in Scotland - 32 for a population of 5.3mil is too much imo.
 

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Scotland only works on a one tier basis, mind. I think a new Metropolitan County-esque arrangement for Scotland would work quite well for Glasgow (perhaps Edinburgh). The current system appears to incorporate some large town into each of the LAs, which is probably why Rutherglen was transferred to South Lanarkshire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_county

I say expand out the borders back to the District Council area, and then try and somehow incorporate the non-rural districts of the adjacent councils into a defined Greater Glasgow urban area, all while giving us a nice neat system of Boroughs (or Burghs?) both internal and external of the Glasgow City boundary.

That would suit everyone for the purposes of running a large continuous urban area without all of a sudden being annexed by Glasgow!
 

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Yes. Glasgow and the council areas contiguous to it. I'd like to see something similar rolled out to other areas of Scotland too, it would be a good opportunity to reduce the number of councils in Scotland - 32 for a population of 5.3mil is too much imo.
Scotland is already extremely overcentralised. Which would actually be main concern about making a big greater glasgow region. I worry you would be making a Scottish London, although even more outsized than that.

A few international comparisons show how out of kilter Scottish local government really has become. Norway (with a population like Scotland of around five million) has 19 counties, each with an elected county council, and 431 municipalities responsible for primary and secondary education, outpatient health, senior citizen and social services, unemployment, planning, economic development and roads. The average Norwegian municipality has 12,500 people – the average Scottish council serves 162,500.
Finland, (with a dispersed population of five million) has 19 regions, plus the autonomous region of Åland, and 348 local authorities. Sweden has 21 counties (with 20 elected councillors apiece), two regions and 289 municipalities, plus autonomous Gotland. Denmark has 14 counties, 275 local authorities (each with between 9 and 31 elected members). Iceland, with a population of just over 300,000, has eight regions and 79 municipalities (with between 3 and 27 elected councillors).
Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany, with twice the population of Scotland, has a total of nearly 24,000 elected representatives against Scotland’s total of 1,416
Devolved governments elsewhere also have more local elected representatives. Baden-Württemberg, in southern Germany, with twice the population of Scotland, has 1,101 communes, each with an elected mayor and an elected council (20,000 councillors in total), plus 35 districts or boroughs (another 2,380 elected members), an elected regional assembly for Greater Stuttgart (since 1994 – with another 93 elected members) and the Baden-Württemberg Land (State) Parliament itself with 138 elected members, plus 84 members of the Bundestag in Berlin and 12 MEPs. That’s a total of nearly 24,000 elected representatives against Scotland’s total of 1,416.
Even centralist France has 22 regions, 96 départements and 36,000 communes with an average population of just 380 – all with elected members – likewise the federal Swiss with 7.6 million people served by 23 cantons and 2,900 communes (average population 2,600). As the political scientist (and occasional contributor to the Scottish Left Review) Michael Keating summed up, the present system of Scottish local government gives Scotland “the largest average population per basic unit of local government of any developed country”.
 

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More a reader than a poster on SSC but this topic is one I'm quite into.

Agree with the general direction of the chat. I think cities (in sense of hubs of economic activity) are a more sensible and civilized basis for a lot of government in the modern age than a lot of other boundaries - which can be historical anachronisms a lot of the time.

The Centre for Cities (link below) produce a lot of intelligent and politically neutral stuff on what makes and drives the success of cities. Strong leadership and control over integrated transport are high on the list.

I'd welcome Mayors in our 4 biggest cities - a healthy counter as they feel very weak rel to central Government in Edinburgh or London. I'm not sure smaller urban centres want or need a Mayor as much.

http://www.centreforcities.org/
 

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Scotland is already extremely overcentralised. Which would actually be main concern about making a big greater glasgow region. I worry you would be making a Scottish London, although even more outsized than that.
I get where your coming from, but I think that Glasgow City Region is held back by being divided up into mulitple competing divisions, and if the big cities down south get mayors, we will be at a further disadvantage by not having a voice of our own. I don't think the current arrangement is fair on Glasgow, and while I can understand other parts of Scotland feeling threatened by our heft, it's not unfair to recognize that Glasgow is part of a larger urban area with a population of 1.5mil, and that it therefore has potential that Ayrshire or Clackmannanshire don't.

I don't believe that preventing the city from reaching it's full potential is the solution, better to ensure that all Scottish councils have the tools they need to drive their areas forward as best they can, including mayors for the other main population centres.
 

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Scotland is already extremely overcentralised. Which would actually be main concern about making a big greater glasgow region. I worry you would be making a Scottish London, although even more outsized than that.
It is the people of the area/communities that should be empowered. Simply empowering councils only, will bring us back to the days of overspend and giving your family/friends freebies to the expense of the people.

A lot of the centralisation has came about because of huge financial restraints and that the councils have shown that they cannot be trusted(George Sq anyone?). When the day comes that councils are fully financial accountable to the communities they serve, then i will have no problem empowering them.

Till that day, not a chance.

There is the Community Empowerment bill (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/engage), the Island Areas Ministerial Working Group and the Scottish Cities Alliance already. - http://scottishcities.wordpress.com/.
 

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The amalgamation of certain councils would help. Some councils struggle to provide things due to their size at present.

However I feel a 'Glasgow' major presiding over towns such as Paisley wouldn't necessarily be popular!
 
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