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About the Commission

The Warwick Commission

This is the Third Warwick Commission established by the University which aims to draw on the scholarly expertise of Warwick academics as well as practitioners and policy makers to address issues of global importance. In the best traditions of intellectual discovery, Warwick Commissions are charged with carrying out independent analysis of a particular issue with the goal of making practical and realistic recommendations about how to move it forward.

The aim of the Commissions is to make thought provoking contributions to the debate, thereby assisting policymakers to find solutions to sometimes seemingly intractable problems. The activities of the Commission and its Reports are intended as an exercise in public policy informed by rigorous scholarly and analytical thinking. It is an excellent demonstration of the importance of good multidisciplinary social science to public policy.

The Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors and City Leadership

Following passing of the Localism Act 2011, the Commission set out to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the government's proposals to introduce directly elected mayors in core cities in England.

The Localism Act makes provision for the creation of directly elected mayors, subject to confirmatory referendums, in England’s largest cities. Referendums in those cities will take place on 3 May 2012 alongside local elections. Where the outcome is a ‘yes’ vote, elections will take place on 15th November 2012.

The Commission seeks to answer the key question: “What is the role of elected mayors in providing strategic leadership to cities?” The purpose of the Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors and City Leadership is not to judge whether directly elected Mayors are the right system of democratic governance as this will be a matter for electors. Rather, the Commission has been considering the optimal scale and structure for the offices of elected mayor if one or more city votes to adopt the system. The Commission is strictly party and candidate neutral and is open to any stakeholder with an interest in the subject of elected mayors, city leadership and governance including those running referenda campaigns.

The Commission is chaired by Professor Wyn Grant, Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Warwick, and its director is Professor Keith Grint, professor of Public Leadership and Management at Warwick Business School (WBS).

Timetable of Activity

The Commission's research commenced in August 2011 with evidence and data gathering. During the first phase of the Commission, up to the referenda in May 2012, the Commission has held three meetings.

  • First Meeting - 21 November 2011 (including the public launch of the Commission)
  • Second Meeting - 30 January 2012
  • Third Meeting - 19 March 2012.

The Commission published its Summary Report on Monday 16th, April 2012.