Three in every five people in the north of England, that’s 9.7 million people, are now covered by a mayoral combined authority. In the North, six powerful metro mayors now govern areas with a combined economy worth £227 billion GVA annually, meaning that they represent populations and economies larger than Scotland and Wales put together.

100 days into the second term of England’s relatively new metro mayors, this briefing paper analyses the work of northern metro mayors. It finds that they are working ambitiously, stretching the boundaries of their limited devolution deals and wielding more power– particularly ‘soft power’ – to act on local priorities than many may realise.