Democracy and representation
The rights of mayors
in Leading the localities
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This chapter explores the political power of the English elected mayor, how mayors have carved out a role for themselves locally and how they have operated within a framework set out in both legalisation and a written local constitution. It also theorises on direct election to executive political office. Liberal democracy has traditionally portrayed liberalism as a counterpoint to democracy. Certain political concerns are alleviated by indirect democracy. Indirect election of the executive acts as a safeguard against the voters doing the wrong thing. The constitution of Hartlepool council has granted the mayor an interesting ceremonial role to play. The direct election of an individual to local political executive office is the distinctive and defining feature of elected mayors. The direct election by the local voters of the political head of the council and the political leader of the community provides that politician with a clear mandate.

Leading the localities

Executive mayors in English local governance

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