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Newham to vote on mayoral model commission

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Newham LBC will tonight vote on whether to establish a commission to explore alternatives to its directly-elected mayoral model.

The proposed “independently-chaired” commission could be set up next year and would report back to council within 12 months.

The full council motion forwarded by mayor Rokhsana Fiaz (Lab) fulfills her manifesto pledge and includes a plan to hold a binding referendum on the leadership model recommended by the commission before May 2020.

According to a report to be considered by councillors tonight, the estimated cost of holding the referendum is approximately £450k, with a cheaper electronic system of voting not recommended “due to the risk of electoral fraud”.

Speaking to LGC before her election win in May, Cllr Fiaz said: “The mayoral model leads to a democratic deficit and people feeling even more disillusioned in the ability of politics to change things. It’s no surprise that voters are being drawn into polarising politics - there needs to be a correction.”

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