Latest Public Sector News

04.05.12

Cities reject elected mayors

Four cities have so far voted against introducing a mayoral system, with six others still counting.

The vote concerns a directly elected mayoral system to replace local council cabinet and leader system, but has been rebuffed by voters in Manchester, Nottingham, Bradford and Coventry.

Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Sheffield and Wakefield have yet to announce the results from yesterday’s vote. The results of the referendum inDoncasteron whether the existing current mayoral system should be continued is also yet to come in.

Manchester voted against the proposal by a margin of 53.24% to 46.76%. In Nottingham the margin was bigger at 57.5% to 42.5% and in Bradford 55.13% of voters opposed the change.

Turnout in Manchester and Nottingham was a low 24%. In Bradford it was slightly higher at 35%. InCoventryalmost two-thirds of voters rejected the plans – by 63.58% to 36.42%.

Housing minister Grant Shapps told Sky News: “People should have the right to decide how they are governed in their local area. The whole point is to give people a say. No-one is forcing mayors on anyone.”

It is widely thought that the Government blundered in not explaining exactly what powers the mayors in each city would have, or what extra money or influence might be gained for cities that voted ‘yes’. The Government wanted to negotiate individual ‘city deals’ with mayors once elected, but a common criticism amongst ‘no’ voters was that it seemed like introducing an extra professional politician, with no obvious benefits.

The results of the mayoral election in London between Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson are expected tonight.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

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