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Which Norfolk and Suffolk celebrities might make a good elected mayor for the two counties?

PUBLISHED: 16:32 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:43 01 December 2015

Stephen Fry, Delia Smith and Ed Sheeran

Stephen Fry, Delia Smith and Ed Sheeran

Archant

A devolution deal for Norfolk and Suffolk without an elected mayor would be akin to getting “crumbs”, compared to the benefits of one with such a figurehead, it has been claimed.

Norfolk and Suffolk previously lodged expressions of interest in a devolution package – taking on powers from central government –but government officials said that was not ambitious enough.

That led councils in the two counties to seek a cross-border bid, which former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine gave encouragement to at a meeting in London last month.

Progress on the sought-after deal was discussed at a meeting of Norfolk County Council’s policy and resources committee yesterday .

And councillors heard a deal without an elected mayor might not reap the same dividends as one with one.

Mick Castle, Labour councillor for Yarmouth North and Central, said he believed the government would only give a major transfer of powers to areas with a political figurehead.

He warned: “If we don’t get that, we will have to get the crumbs. If we want serious money for infrastructure, we would have to go down that route.”

With some of meetings between councillors marked by conflict, the meeting also heard a plea from Conservative group leader Cliff Jordan for an end to political games.

So with tongue firmly in cheek, public affairs correspondent Dan Grimmer, considers some Norfolk and Suffolk names who might fancy a run for mayor.

•Dot Cotton (June Brown)

Pros: Former Suffolk schoolgirl, born in Needham Market. Would be great at political gossip

Cons: Long stay in Walford means she may be off pace with East Anglian issues

•Stephen Fry

Pros: Really, really clever

Cons: Might be distracted by need to serve 11.7m Twitter followers

•Delia Smith

Pros: Links to both counties, living near Stowmarket and joint majority shareholder of Norwich City Football Club

Cons: Dubious track record when handed microphones at emotional moments

•Mick McCarthy

Pros: Admirably blunt speaking would be refreshing

Cons: Unlikely to win many votes in Norwich (or football matches)

•Ed Sheeran

Pros: Ubiquitous Suffolk singer-songwriter, with a string of top-10 hits

Cons: As above

•Lord Nelson

Pros: National hero, one of few Norfolk men who could be palatable both sides of border. Renowned for bold decision making.

Cons: Died in 1805.

•Who would make a good mayor for Norfolk and Suffolk? You can leave your ideas below.


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