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Sheffield launches mayor consultation

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Sheffield City Council has launched a consultation on whether local people want their cabinet led by a council leader or a mayor.

As well the traditional means of consultation the council is accepting email and online submissions.

Local people are being told that because of amendements to the 2000 Local Government Act, they are essentially deciding who will have the power to choose and head the cabinet.

At present the council’s leadership system has all 84 councillors deciding who will be the leader and which other councillors will make up the cabinet.

Under the change, the members would only be able to decide who will be the leader.

A mayor, elected for a term of four years, would choose his or her Cabinet up to a maximum of nine Councillors.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I'm very opposed to the idea of an executive mayor - we already have a Lord Mayor for ceremonial occasions, and an elected leader of the council, running an elected cabinet.

    The proposed mayorial system adds another layer of bureaucracy and cost.

    More importantly, it removes power from our elected councillors, who are available for anybody to consult or ask for help, and passes total power to a single individual to whom no ordinary Sheffielder has access.

    I think it's very dangerous - I'd far rather have an elected leader who is chosen by and obliged to consult with other elected councillors (even at the democratic risk of being from a party with whom I profoundly disagree) than a figurehead with power, who has chosen his or her cabinet. Who will question the person who has picked them?

    We need our accessible local councillors to continue to be the people who can help jointly make decisions that affect our everyday lives. That's why we vote for them. I and others living in my small area have had good reason to be grateful for the access we have had to our councillors in the past, and the help they were able to give us.

    Let's not gamble with our democracy, in the hope that we'll get a saint instead of...well possible somebody like some of those people who have already demonstrated in other cities that such total power can easily be used corruptly by an elected mayor, a post that does not have the built-in checks and balances of the current system.

    I do hope that we don't even have to go to the expense of a vote.

    I’d also like to point out that I’ve only just heard (on Radio Sheffield this morning) that this consultation is taking place, and it ends in 4 days. As most people are clearly also unaware of it, to judge by the extra ordinarily low response, please consider extending the consultation, and trying to increase the publicity.

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