Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

ELECTED MAYORS A STEP CLOSER

  • Comment
A local government bill to be included in next month's queen's speech will have as its centrepiece a commitment to ...
A local government bill to be included in next month's queen's speech will have as its centrepiece a commitment to introduce US-style mayors across the country, reports The Independent (p1).

Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff are likely to be among the first cities to adopt the reforms. In Glasgow in particular the mayorality is seen as a strong counterweight to the Edinburgh-based parliament.

As well as helping to resurrect civic pride, senior party figures see the move as a long-overdue means of bypassing the 'Old Labour' members that continue to run some authorities.

A Labour party source said: 'Even if in some cases, an Old Labour candidate stands for mayor, we would be prepared to see a strong independent candidate, such as a businessman, win the day.'

However, it is more likely that, as in London, the party's ruling National Executive Committee would have a major role in the selection of local mayoral candidates.

Meanwhile, a Mori poll of voters in five English cities indicates widespread support for directly elected mayors, according to The Guardian (p9).

The poll, conducted on behalf of the New Local Government Network - a pro-modernisation campaign group and think-tank - finds that two-thirds or those surveyed wish to see an elected mayor in their own city, while a fifth are opposed.

The research, conducted last weekend among 1,000 people in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield, found little variation in support for the change between the five areas.

There was also stong support (68%) for local referendums on whether to have a mayor, while more than nine out of ten felt councils needed to improve their performance and to consult voters more often.

Gerry Stoker, chair of the New Local Government Network, said last night: 'These results will shake up the whole of local government. We have the prospect of most of our major cities being run by a mayor by the next election - whether the incumbents like it or not. I do not think this movement of opinion can be stopped.'

John Williams, co-ordinator of the network, is quoted saying: 'The public are very enthusiastic about directly elected mayors and want to be consulted. Local authorities are in danger of being further dislocated from the public if they don't listen.'

- see LGCnet (27/10/98) `FULL DETAILS OF MORI POLL ON ELECTED MAYORS - PUBLIC SUPPORT PREDICTED TO SWEEP AWAY TRADITIONAL COUNCIL METHODS'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.