New North East Lincolnshire 'city regions' must have clear sense of identity says MP
ANY new city region including North East Lincolnshire, must have a "clear sense of identity", according to Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers.
Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate on local leadership, Mr Vickers praised Lord Heseltine's "excellent" report, entitled No Stone Unturned, which proposed the creation of city regions with elected mayors.
He told MPs: "I know that the Government is drawn to city regions and the boost to a local economy that they can give.
"Although I support that, the city region itself must have a sense of place. My area of Humberside most certainly does not.
"There must be a clear sense of identity."
Mr Vickers also said he agreed it was "desirable" for authorities to be led by an elected mayor, even though many English towns and cities rejected that option in referendums last year.
"I hope that areas such as my own in North East Lincolnshire can steal a march on the cities that rejected mayors by grasping the nettle, moving forward and going for an elected mayor themselves," he added.
Responding for the Government, Communities Minister Brandon Lewis accepted that directly elected mayors seemed "to have recognition in a community that goes beyond that of an elected councillor".
He said: "People understand exactly who is in charge, who is making the decisions, who is accountable. That transparency fits perfectly with the localism agenda with which we are moving forward."