UK referendums on elected local mayors: yes or no?

The last Labour government kicked off the move from ceremonial mayors to elected ones with some clout, taking over the role of the council leader. With the exception of the Mayor of London, the second largest directly elected office in Europe, after the president of France, are these mayoralities absolutely necessary?

Many towns are voting today on whether to introduce the new post, or are voting for the first time for a new mayor. Some places, such as Rotherham, are seeking to scrap the position.

Should we have elected mayors or not?

5 Answers

  • Mike
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First of all, Rotherham has never had an elected mayor - it's Doncaster that's voting to scrap the post.

    In answer to your question, I think they're a waste of money. They've hardly been a success in Doncaster, Stoke-on-Trent (scrapped the post in 2008) or Torbay (expected to scrap the post at the first opportunity). There's been no cut in the number of councillors, many of whom are now unsure exactly what their role is.

    There's also the voting systems. Mayoral elections use that stupid supplementary vote (1st preference + 2nd preference) meaning that the second-placed candidate can win on second preferences (assuming you guessed correctly which two candidates would finish top) - this allowed Peter Davies to get elected in Doncaster. Meanwhile, councils use the first-past-the-post system which tends to give landslide victories. Example: in Leicester, Labour have the mayor and also 52 of the 54 seats on the council. Result = an effective dictatorship. In London, however, the assembly uses an additional member system (specifically MMP) designed to prevent this.

    I could understand elected mayors for, say, Greater Manchester but not for just a city council.

    EDIT: astonishingly the people of Doncaster have voted to keep their elected mayor! Of the other ten, only Bristol voted yes so far (Birmingham and Leeds still due) so it would seem most people agree it's a waste of money.

    Source(s): my (rambling) opinions
  • 9 years ago

    The town I live in voted in favour of having an elected Mayor about 10 years ago and despite her winning two terms she has been the most useless entity going. Personally I would like the opportunity to have a referendum on scrapping the job.

    Despite having a directly elected Mayor we still have a separate council leader so we are paying for two people to basically do exactly the same job a total waste of tax payer's money.

  • 9 years ago

    Probably a bit late to answer this, polls close in 10 minutes - but I voted (in Coventry) to retain the "leader & cabinet" model.

    An elected mayor would have too much power, whilst the current model means that each ward is represented in decision making. If you have a mayor that you strongly disagree with, then you have no power to do anything about it.

    Not to mention - where I live, our council works very well as it is. Why change?

  • Iain
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    I can't see it making a ha'p'orth of difference, myself - referendums just cost money we don't have at the moment

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  • JOHN G
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I don't think they are very popular, people don't want their councils spending money that way.

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