Here goes my daily round-up of interesting links I’ve seen around the web today, a mix of politics, super advanced glasses and some cool awards for hyperlocal folk.
Les Reid, of Coventry Telegraph fame, gives a great overview of the issues facing cities which will soon be electing mayors. The battle to be Mayor in Birmingham will be very interesting, and Reid interviews figures including Lord Adonis and Greg Clark about the impact a Mayor can have on a city.
Whether their claims of a directly-elected figurehead having the influence, power and clout to achieve strong decentralisation from Whitehall remains to be seen. I think there is truth in the Boris principle, he certainly acts as a focal point and rather amusing cheerleader for London. But whether he makes any meaningful economic impact for the capital is unclear.
Personally I think elected mayors are a good step. Too often council leaders are voted in to pacify factions within political parties, and not judged by the skills for doing the job but by how they will perform for their party – not by how they will perform for the electorate, and those are two very different masters. Read the rest of this entry »