Abstracts: April 5th, 2006

A new collection of essays published by the independent think tank, the New Local Government Network, concludes that elected mayors are improving local democratic engagement with the local media and the public, and are a stronger focal point for business and inward investors, acting as decision-makers for the whole community and not simply for council services. The publication reveals how elected Mayors are demonstrating leadership and communicating with the electorate.Quicker decision-making and taking a strategic view across the locality are identified as the key areas of success. In Lewisham recognition of the Mayor is at an all time high – at 38% in November 2005, compared to 16% two years previously. Some 69% of residents think the Council is doing a good job – the third consecutive year this figure has increased and one which is now 5% above the London average.

Although the essays pick up on some of the unique features of mayoral governance, it is clear that some of the lessons are transferable to other types of political leadership, such as directly elected cabinets and city region-mayors.

‘Mayors Making a Difference’ is published by NLGN. Cost 12 pounds. It is available from: info@nlgn.org.uk