It's a question that comes up a lot - and was asked again during the recent local elections.

Why are there so many mayors in Liverpool? Do we need them all? And what do they all do?

We can't necessarily answer all these questions but we can certainly provide the information on the mayors involved with the city, who they are and what their roles entail.

Metro Mayor

Let's start with this one - the Liverpool City Region Mayor to use the full title.

So this position actually goes beyond Liverpool and concerns the full Liverpool City Region -which includes the city of Liverpool as well as Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton and Halton.

It's a fairly new position and was only created in 2017 as part of a big new deal with government that brought new powers and funding to our part of the country.

Steve Rotheram giving his victory speech after securing a second term as Liverpool City Region Mayor
Steve Rotheram giving his victory speech after securing a second term as Liverpool City Region Mayor

Those powers are for things like improving and planning public transport, housing, skills and the economic development of the whole city region.

It's a big role that covers an area of 1.6 million people - and the powers involved are quite strategic, rather than looking at day to day issues.

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It was won by Labour's Steve Rotheram, a former MP in Liverpool, in the first ever election in 2017 - and he was recently re-elected for a second term.

The Metro Mayor sits at the top of what is called the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which is kind of like a super council bringing together all six local authorities in the region.

Mayor Rotheram chairs monthly meetings of that combined authority and is responsible for bringing the different councils together on large-scale policies and direction.

Mayor of Liverpool

So the city of Liverpool also has an elected mayor.

This was a role created in 2012 - also as part of a new deal with the government.

Controversially, it wasn't brought in via a city-wide referendum (which is often the mechanism for changing democratic systems) - but via a full council vote.

The role was first won by Labour's Joe Anderson, who was re-elected in 2016.

Mr Anderson was intending to stand for a third term in last week's delayed elections, but was unable to after being suspended by the Labour Party following his arrest in December.

He was arrested as part of a corruption probe - he denies any wrongdoing.

Labour went on to select a new candidate called Joanne Anderson (no relation), and she made history after being elected as the first black woman to lead a major UK city.

The city mayor role has executive powers for the running of the council - which includes every day issues like bin collections, roadworks and social care.

The Mayor leads a team of cabinet members who decide on key issues and policies for the city.

However, there are many people who believe that the creation of a Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region means that there is no longer a need for a city mayor - and that Liverpool should return to a council leader - or even a different democratic system.

One of those people is the new Mayor herself - Joanne Anderson previously campaigned to remove the mayoral position and said she will do so again when a referendum is held on the issue.

That city-wide vote could take place as early as next year.

Lord Mayor

Just to add to the confusion, Liverpool also has a Lord Mayor - sometimes referred to as a Civic Mayor.

Most recently this was Cllr Anna Rothery, who also made history as the first black Lord Mayor in the city's history - but a new Lord Mayor will be sworn in at this week's council Annual general Meeting.

Unlike the other two mayors, this is not a political or an elected role.

It is a civic position taken up each year by a different member of the council who becomes apolitical for their year in office.

The duties are largely ambassadorial and involve representing the city both at home and abroad, opening and speaking at events and raising money for chosen charities.

In Liverpool the Lord Mayor also chairs meetings of the full council.