The mayor is elected by the residents of Liverpool for a four-year period and is responsible for executive functions of Liverpool City Council and for the day to day running of the organisation. They are charged with leading the city, building investor confidence, and directing new resources to economic priorities. The mayor does not have responsibility for setting the Council budget or formulating policy framework plans as this remains with the city council. The mayor must appoint a cabinet of two or more councillors (also called the "Executive") who do not have to be from the same political party. The mayor decides on the size of the cabinet and to what extent executive functions may be delegated. The mayor also benefits from so called 'soft powers' conferred on them by being directly elected, which enables them to influence, persuade and co-ordinate on a wider scale.
The Mayor of Liverpool is entitled to sit on the proposed 'Cabinet of Mayors', along with the other directly elected mayors in England and Wales. Such a position allows a direct route to the Prime Minister and other senior ministers. Cabinet meetings will be held at least twice a year offering the opportunity to discuss local issues with decision-makers in Whitehall.
A number of commentators[who?] have expressed disappointment[vague] that the Mayor's remit does not cover the entire metropolitan area of Liverpool, or the Liverpool City Region. A 2011 report by former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine and Terry Leahy argued that a directly elected mayor should cover the six districts of the Liverpool City Region. The report argued that "in marketing terms Liverpool is a world class brand" and "it would be perverse to do other than embrace the wider area within an identity recognised across the globe."
After opposition from the boroughs of Wirral, St Helens and Southport, the idea of a city region mayor was dropped. Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, ruled out the move as "too difficult for now", citing the need for fresh primary legislation and a reorganisation of local government boundaries as practical barriers to the concept.
The mayor is elected by the supplementary vote system for a period of four years. Each voter lists both a first and second choice candidate. If no-one gets more than 50% of the vote the second choices are allocated to the top two candidates.
The Mayor of Liverpool's current salary is £66,000 per year, which is equivalent to that of a Member of Parliament. An independent panel of experts had recommended that the Mayor's salary should be closer to £80,000 which was meant to reflect the size and population of the city, as well as the role and responsibilities associated with the position both in terms of the executive functions and proposing and implementing of key strategic plans.