Mayoral governance in Bristol: has it made a difference?

David Sweeting, Robin Hambleton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

5 Citations (Scopus)


Bristol introduced a directly elected mayor model of governance in
November 2012. This radical reform replaced the former system
whereby the leader of the council was selected from among the 70
elected councillors in the city. This chapter situates the Bristol reforms
in context, introduces a new conceptual framework for understanding
urban leadership, analyses the impact of the new system as recorded in
before and after surveys of the views of citizens and civic leaders, and
identifies themes emerging from the research on Bristol that could be
of relevance to the wider international debate about how to improve
the leadership of urban governance. The chapter draws on ongoing
action research on urban governance in Bristol and the Bristol city
region. However, the authors are also long-time residents of the city
and have been active in debates about local democracy in the city
for many years. The narrative is informed by this tacit knowledge of
governance and community politics in the city as well as the hard data
generated by systematic research on the mayoral model of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDirectly elected mayors in urban governance
Subtitle of host publicationImpact and practice
EditorsDavid Sweeting
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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