Manchester mayor referendum: No vote 'would disadvantage city'

The people of Manchester have been warned that if they do not vote 'yes' to an elected mayor, they will put the city at a competitive disadvantage.

The comments were made by a Downing Street insider during a reception to push for directly-elected mayors.

The city is to hold a referendum on the matter on 3 May.

Sir Richard Leese, Manchester City Council's Labour leader, said if the system was already working well, there was no need to change things.

A 'yes' vote would see an election process take place in November.

Liverpool and Salford have already decided to elect mayors for the first time.

Speaking at the Downing Street meeting, Prime Minister David Cameron said mayors would boost economic development and be more accountable for voters.

He also announced a new "cabinet of mayors" would meet after the local elections to exchange ideas and discuss further devolution of powers.

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