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CAMDEN & LEWISHAM LBCs CHEW OVER POSSIBILITIES FOR REFORM

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Camden LBC's Liberal Democrat group has called for a referendum on the option of having a directly-elected mayor, r...
Camden LBC's Liberal Democrat group has called for a referendum on the option of having a directly-elected mayor, reports The Hampstead & Highgate Express (p5).

The party claims that the Labour-led authority is being undemocratic in its approach to reforms of local government democracy.

A council report detailing responses to a paper circulated among councillors and community representatives indicates the leader and cabinet model is 'clearly the preferred option', despite Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition.

Flick Rea, leader of Camden's Lib Dems, argues that the public should not be steered towards one option over another. 'If the consultation papers say the council is inclined to favour one model it gives it a heavy spin,' she said.

Ms Rea argued a referendum should be held to allow people to choose between the government white paper's three options: an elected mayor and cabinet, a mayor and council manager, or a council leader in charge of a cabinet.

Meanwhile, the South London Press (p9) reported that Lewisham LBC members are keen to revamp the authority's structure and electoral procedures.

It is considering the option of having a 'first citizen' instead of a mayor. Councillor Mee Ling Ng said if the council was to introduce a directly-elected mayor, it needed to keep the civic role of a mayor, but to avoid confusion to call this position first citizen.

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