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Metro Mayors: RGS-IBG with CURDS

Metro mayors: next steps for devolution in England

On 30 March 2017, the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) convened a panel of policymakers, public officials and researchers to discuss some of the potentials and questions raised by the May 2017 election of metro mayors.

Image: Amber Anderson

This evening panel discussion was organised in partnership with the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), as part of its programme of events to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017.


The unfolding process of devolution in England entered a period of substantive change in 2017. The election of metro mayors in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West of England and Peterborough and Cambridgeshire in May 2017, along with potential 2018 elections in Sheffield City Region, and the continued introduction and evolution of Combined Authorities, marked the emergence of significant new political and institutional actors in the devolution landscape in England.  

Amidst discussion of the promise and potential of the new posts, many questions for local governance were raised. Could the metro mayoralty provide a better devolved governance model to address the pressing economic, social, environmental and political challenges at hand? How could the new political actors deal with the continued impacts of austerity upon their responsibilities, powers and fiscal capacities? Could the mayors influence the Government’s new place-based industrial strategy? Would metro mayors trigger wider public engagement and renewal by providing more accountable, transparent and inclusive local politics?

Chair and Panel

ChairPeter Hetherington, Guardian 


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