Mayors and innovation

20 Feb 2008 by Karl Hallam

Ken Livingstone welcomes his freedom to sack or take to task staff who don't deliver - a key flexibility, he says in today's Guardian, he adds its necessary to get things done. This says a lot about the difference between the Mayoral model and traditional local government structures, the article suggests Ken has been won over, but then you would be if you the one with the powers.

Cadence's research into innovation has demonstrated to us that one of the key barriers to local goverment innovation is the more usual council model, where sacking people who are not delivering or getting a congestion charge in place is much harder.

Sheffield is re-running the congestion charge argument again this week and even the Green Party has come out against it! This is of course is not about the best policies for the residents, it's about there being no overall control and local elections in May 2008, which follow the election in May 2007 and 2006 ... although the Star newspaper headline of 'outrage at plan to charge motorists' does demonstrate this is one of the trickier issues. 

While Cadence can see advantages in the Mayoral model it is perhaps a step too far for places like Sheffield, but there might at least be more hope of greater innovation in delivery of local services if elections were only every 4 years, like London.

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