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'Blackmail', metro mayors - and the future of the region; Letters.

DEAR Editor, Your heading 'Bosses Y make case for metro mayor' is simply untrue (Post, May 21). Their "t "case" is that the government will only offer money on the basis of adopting rule by a directly elected mayor.

In the real world outside newspaper offices, this is called giving in to blackmail and has no logical argument behind it except political opportunism.

When ALL the referendums in 2012, except for Bristol's, rejected directly elected mayors, it is clear that the electorate glimpsed the prospect of an election dominated by personality-obsessed media and stepped back.

In our case, the thought of Digby Jones, Carl Chinn and a Northfield butcher in a John Bull outfit competing to govern the Second City was horrifying.

The only "case" which has ever been presented is based on the idea that the government likes the idea of working with one person, not having to deal with the messy process of democratic decision-making, and "Oh, what a lovely man is Boris!" That is no way to decide how public services for - in the case of the proposed new authority - over four million people should be provided.

directly -elected mayors work successfully? Try Tower Hamlets, Stoke-on-Trent, Hartlepool, or any of the many cities in the USA whose A mayors have ended in jail.

David Spilsbury By Email DEAR Editor, The creation of a 'West Midlands powerhouse' now looks a probability, with greater economic and political development for the whole area.

The fears of parochial objectors can be allayed, as they will not lose their local identities.

Lower Gornal will still be on the map, as will Radford and Bentley Heath.

But the whole area is not going to be called Solihull and the West Midlands, is it? I propose simply 'Birmingham - West Midland' (the hyphen important).

This will give the whole area the status and recognition that Birmingham now enjoys internationally, while also telling the world where in the UK it lies.

David Gilbert, Sutton Coldfield DEAR Editor, There is a time for listening to people and a time for getting things done.

After living in the West Midlands for 47 years and seeing it held back time and time again because of silly parochialism, I think it is time for the latter.

While people in Birmingham and Coventry may have voted against elected mayors for their cities a few years ago, it is time for a West Midlands-wide mayor now.

Personally, I think it should happen anyway - there is someone representing the North and London at Government cabinet meetings presently - there really should be someone there representing this region (the second largest outside London).

But also because we cannot let parochialism hold us back again.

George Osborne has said you need a metro mayor to secure major devolution deals.

Let's give ourselves a break and just do it. Coventry will still be Coventry, Dudley will still be Dudley, but the West Midlands might just be a force to be reckoned with.

J Bright, Sutton Coldfield

CAPTION(S):

Birmingham and the West Midlands could unlock more cash and powers under a combined authority and mayor <B

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 28, 2015
Words:519
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