What powers does the Metro Mayor have?
The job of the Mayor ranges from setting the budget and priorities for economic development, major transport infrastructure and post-19 skills, to acting as an ambassador for our region to build trade links and attract inward investment.
The Metro Mayor has powers over spending, previously held by central government, on the region’s transport, housing, adult & further education and skills. The Mayor also has control over a £900M 30-year investment fund.
What’s the difference between a Metro Mayor and a Civic Mayor?
An elected Mayor (or a ‘Metro Mayor’) is a city-region leader directly elected by the people with powers and resources to improve people's lives.
A Lord Mayor or Civic Mayor is a ceremonial representative with no formal powers. They are traditionally chosen by fellow members of a town, borough or city council.
What is the West of England Combined Authority (WECA)?
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is made up of three of the councils in the region – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
WECA also supports the Local Enterprise Partnership, which is business-led, and covers the four West of England councils, including North Somerset Council. The aim is to deliver economic growth for the region and address some of our challenges, such as productivity and skills, housing and transport.
The current WECA Mayor is Tim Bowles, who is retiring in May. He and the Combined Authority have been given powers over spending, previously held by central government, on the region’s transport, housing, adult education and skills.
Scrutiny and Audit Committees have been established to scrutinise and hold to account the Combined Authority and West of England Mayor.
WECA also provides support to the West of England Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) Board and to the West of England Joint Committee, which includes North Somerset Council.
What makes WECA different from a local council?
The Combined Authority is not a ‘super-council’ or a return to Avon council – The three councils continue to exist in their own right, delivering local services and meeting the day-to-day needs of residents.
Your local council will still be responsible for delivering local services such a children’s services, social care, refuse collection, libraries, street cleaning etc.
The Mayor and Combined Authority do not replace, nor can they overrule local councils.
Is this just another layer of bureaucracy?
No, this is a transfer of decision making from London to the West of England. It means that more decisions can be made locally to achieve a better outcome for local people and to seize opportunities in our local economy.