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by Staff reporter
19 January 2022
Nearly half of Scots support directly elected mayors

Andy Burnham became the first mayor of Manchester in 2017 | Alamy Stock

Nearly half of Scots support directly elected mayors

Nearly half of voters (45 per cent) support the creation of directly elected mayors in Scotland, a new survey has found.

Only one in five people opposed the proposals and a third had no opinion.

The survey, conducted by Opinium and commissioned by Our Scottish Future, also found people would be more likely to vote in local elections if such a reform was introduced.

The question defined mayors as elected representives who are given “significant powers over transport, crime and the local economy”, similar to those in place in Manchester and London.

It comes ahead of May’s council elections which will see the public vote in 1,227 councillors across Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Three-quarters of those polled said they were “not confident” they could name the current leader of their local council.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown, one of the founders of Our Scottish Future, said directly electing local leaders would “rekindle our streets and the communities where we live”.

He added: “Local democracy is back in vogue everywhere round the world and Scotland should be in the vanguard not lagging behind. Our poll today shows that Scots are ahead of their government on this. Devolution cannot stop in Edinburgh – it is time to give our great Scottish cities and regions the power and control they need too.”

Brown is also currently conducting a constitutional review for Labour, to inform the party’s policies going into the next general election.

It is widely expected to propose further devolution to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish parliaments, as well as promoting more powers for regions in England.

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