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BIRMINGHAM GO-AHEAD FOR MAYORAL REFERENDUM

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Councillors have given the go-ahead for a referendum to ask the people of Birmingham if they want a directly electe...
Councillors have given the go-ahead for a referendum to ask the people of Birmingham if they want a directly elected mayor. The referendum will be held by October 2001. If the answer is yes, then the mayoral election will be scheduled for 2002.

The mayoral referendum is one of the recommendations of the Democracy Commission, chaired by Sir Adrian Cadbury, whose report was published in July. Yesterday's meeting of the full Council gave councillors the opportunity to discuss the report which included a number of wide-ranging proposals on the way local government works.

The Council's response to the Commission went much further than to endorse the referendum on the mayor. Recognising the importance of wide public debate on these issues, the Council will produce its first Green Paper, setting out radical proposals for improving public involvement at the level of local communities in the City. The Paper will look at ways of giving local people more influence over how services are run. It will also cover issues such as the establishment of parish or community councils and the holding of local referenda.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Albert Bore, said: 'Birmingham needs to create a lively neighbourhood democracy and get more people involved in decisions about the public life of the City. The Green Paper will take us clearly in this direction and give everyone in the City a chance to contribute to our radical ideas.'
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