This chapter analyses the position of a directly elected mayor as a mechanism to deliver transformative change to local government in England. Through a narrative exploration of the trajectory of mayoral governance in the City of Bristol, analysis interrogates where the model has succeeded, where it has met barriers, and the capacity of the position of elected mayor to innovate in order to overcome those challenges. Through the use of thematic vignettes, the argument is made that whilst the model offers significant potential for transformative change, a number of historic, structural and contextual factors have significantly limited the capacity for the model to deliver the transformative change that advocates of the model assert is possible. Conclusions are made around which elements restrict the capacity of the mayoral role to reach its potential and the how the model might be adapted in future to enable its full benefits to be realised.
Oliver, T. (2017). Can the directly elected mayoral model deliver? Innovation, limitation and adaptation: Lessons from the City of Bristol. In D. Sweeting (Ed.), Directly Elected Mayors in Urban Governance Impact and Practice (35-52). Bristol: Policy Press