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Given the choice, the people of Watford have voted yes to having a directly elected mayor. ...
Given the choice, the people of Watford have voted yes to having a directly elected mayor.
Result analysis
Yes: 7,636 (51.7%)
No: 7,140 (48.3%
Majority: 496 (3.4%)
Eligible electorate: 60,630
Turnout: 14,776
Turnout%: 24.5
Rejected ballot papers: 883
This historic decision makes Watford the first town outside London to vote yes to an elected mayor. The 'yes' vote follows a string of three previous 'no' votes involving councils in other parts of England.
Commenting immediately after the result, Watford BC's chief executive Alan Clarke said: 'This vote has proved that there is support for dynamic local democracy in Watford. The referendum result heralds the start of a revolution in local government in Britain. I am proud that our town is in the vanguard of that change for the better.'
'With an elected mayor, it will be clear who runs the town and there will be a strong voice standing up for Watford in places where it matters,' he continued.
The council's decision to hold a referendum was based on major public consultation that showed a preference for an elected mayor.
While only about a quarter of those eligible to vote completed a referendum ballot paper, a publicity campaign on how to vote meant that the total figure was only 2 per cent lower than for the local elections in 2000.
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