Bristol mayoral election: Remains to be seen precisely what winner's powers will be
NOW we know that Bristol will have an elected mayor, the mists should start to clear on precisely what their powers will be.
You could say they will be virtually the same as a council leader but talking to experts in the field, it appears they will wield much more power and influence.
The main reason for this is because they will be directly elected by the people they serve – unlike a council leader who is chosen by councillors from their own political party.
An elected mayor will have three primary functions – choosing a cabinet of up to ten people; appointing a deputy and setting a budget.
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How they will run their cabinet depends what kind of person is elected. When Ken Livingstone first became Mayor of London, he did so as an independent and chose his cabinet from all political parties.
The mayor's character and personality will determine how much power he or she delegates to the cabinet members. They might be dictatorial, in which case the cabinet councillors are more likely to be given instructions, while a softer approach will see a more consensual form of control.
An elected mayor will also have to decide how to run their administration – for example, whether to continue with a chief executive. Tory campaigners argued that the post could be scrapped and replaced with a cheaper 'city administrator'.
But whoever the elected mayor turns out to be, he or she will not be able to take control of everything and will have to delegate the delivery of public services to a team of top executives, currently called service directors.
An elected mayor is in danger of getting bogged down in micro-management, such as making sure waste bins, are emptied when they should perhaps be spending their time on regional and national issues.
The current legislation on elected mayors is vague, perhaps deliberately so, in order to provide the political "wriggle room" needed to tweak powers and responsibilities over time.
The civic boundaries for Bristol might be changed in future or four-yearly council elections brought in to coincide with the mayor's term of office.