New interim mayor of Greater Manchester Tony Lloyd has vowed to involve the public in widespread decisions on health, economic development and community safety.
The current Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner was chosen by a panel representing the 10 Greater Manchester councils and beat off competition from Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith.
His appointment, which is due to be officially confirmed at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) meeting on 26 June, followed a round of interviews, a series of engagement events around the region at which the pair were questioned by Greater Manchester councillors and sessions with key private, public and voluntary sector partners.
As interim mayor Mr Lloyd will not have executive powers but will work in partnership with the GMCA, becoming its 11th member and full-time leader and providing strategic leadership in the transitional period up to May 2017 when, subject to legislation being passed, a directly-elected mayor will be voted in by the Greater Manchester public.
He said: “This is an exciting and challenging time for Greater Manchester. As we move towards devolution we have to ensure that there is a strong voice making the case to government on Greater Manchester’s behalf.
“The public must be involved as we move forward. Issues like health, community safety and economic development are too important for decisions to be made behind closed doors.
“The changes we need can only be delivered if the public has bought into them and are included in the debate.”
A spokesman for the members of the selection panel said the decision of who to choose for the role had been a difficult one.
He said: “The area has succeeded in gaining some significant devolved freedoms and flexibilities by making a powerful case to central government that better results can be achieved if decisions about the needs and priorities of Greater Manchester are made in Greater Manchester.
“The challenge now is to keep creating the conditions for economic growth and jobs creation and supporting Greater Manchester’s 2.8 million people to access these opportunities and share in the region’s success. Tony will play a pivotal role in this as we all work together over the next two years.”
Picture courtesy of GMPCC, with thanks.