MAYORALTY: Role has lots of power

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Derek Wake asks what the mayor’s role is, who the council leader is, and whether the mayor merely opens things and is photographed, (News Guardian, April 6).

Good questions, reflecting what most people see most of the time.

In North Tyneside our elected mayor is also leader of the council, with power to choose the cabinet. That’s the system people have chosen here, and it’s aimed at ensuring everyone knows who’s in charge.

Our mayors also appear in lots of photos, but maybe this distracts from their main role.

The mayor holds most of the power, even at times when their party is in the minority.

I think that should be balanced by letting the other parties chair some of the main committees to ensure fair play and value for money.

The public can also help by asking questions at council and in this newspaper.

John Appleby,

Lib Dem candidate for mayor