Posts Tagged ‘directly elected mayor’

Why Bristol said yes to a directly elected mayor

07/05/2012, 02:00:19 PM

by Amanda Ramsay

With one of the government’s key policies from the Localism Act now in utter tatters and nine out of ten English cities rejecting the idea of directly elected city mayors, will the prime minister still go ahead with the idea of his ‘cabinet of mayors’?

Will Liverpool, Salford, Bristol and the 15 other city mayors already elected, from the likes of Leicester and Doncaster, all still be offered a direct hotline to Number 10, or was it all just a PR stunt from the PM?

If you follow the government narrative prior to their policy for elected mayors collapsing, Bristol will now be catapulted into a super-strata, becoming a new fast-track powerhouse, reaping the benefit of the much promised extra powers for cities that voted ‘yes’.

With Bristol opting to say ‘yes’ to a directly elected mayor, there will now be a city-wide election on 15 November, under a supplementary voting system, the same day as the police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections across England and Wales.

Curiosity abounds as to why Bristol said ‘yes’ and the other nine cities said ‘no’ last Thursday. One senior commentator said: “good on Bristol for being a proper city, baffles me that the referenda results were that bad.”

“It’s clear that those campaigning for an elected mayor did not make the case – except in Bristol – and even there turn-out was as low as everywhere else, so it was passed by a small minority of the electorate,” says Professor Steven Fielding, Director of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Nottingham.


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