Croydon Council will move to a directly elected mayor model style of governance after 80% of voters backed the change in a referendum to determine how the authority is run.
Voters had been offered a choice between the directly elected mayor model or the council’s current system of governance, the leader and cabinet model.
The referendum, which was held on 7 October, saw the directly elected mayor model win with 80% of the vote, with the leader and cabinet model winning nearly 20% of the total on a turnout of 21%.
The result was as follows:
Leader and cabinet model: 11,519
Directly elected mayor model: 47,165
Voter turnout: 58,897 (21%)
An extraordinary council meeting will be held to pass the resolution required to put the public vote into effect.
The council’s current leader and cabinet system of governance will remain in place until the May 2022 elections.
Residents will then be asked to vote for a directly elected mayor who will lead the council, as well as voting for their local councillors.
Commenting, Leader of Croydon Council, Councillor Hamida Ali said:
“When I became leader last year, I promised to open up the council and give residents a stronger voice.
That’s why I listened to local people and ensured the council held this referendum to give our community the chance to have their say on how the council is run in the future.
“Over the past year, we have made major progress transforming the council to get our finances back on track and begin to improve the vital services our residents rely on.
“Today’s result means that in May next year, residents will get the chance to elect a mayor to lead our council and continue this important work reforming Croydon Council to provide the best possible services for local people.”
Chief Executive of Croydon Council and Counting Officer, Katherine Kerswell added:
“Thank you to everyone who voted in our referendum, this is an important issue so it’s good to see so many residents exercising their right to vote.
“I also want to recognise all of our council staff who have worked so hard in the planning and delivery of this event.
“Months of preparation goes into every polling day and I want to thank all those who have worked behind the scenes, as well as all those who have manned polling stations or counted votes.
“As always, it has been a privilege to see local democracy in action.”