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Southwark LBC has been directed to hold a mayoral referendum by the DTLR. ...
Southwark LBC has been directed to hold a mayoral referendum by the DTLR.

Local government secretary Stephen Byers has told Southwark to hold a referendum on or before 1 February.

John Williams, executive director of the pro-mayor New Local Government Network, said: 'The government's decision is a brave one. Of course, with directions yet to be given to Newcastle, Birmingham and Bradford, such bravery may be put to a sterner test, not least because of the politics involved.'

The government has told Dudley MBC it is 'no longer minded' to direct it to have a referendum, provided it consults further and submits the results to the DTLR.

Anti-mayoral campaigners in Lewisham LBC, which recently voted for a mayor (LGC, 26 October) are to challenge the result.

They are writing to local government secretary Stephen Byers to ask for a re-run. Lewisham member Jim Mallory (Lab) said campaigners were not satisfied with the 'complexity' of the referendum procedure, which was won by 900 votes while 2,000 were disqualified.

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