What is the procedure for an English town scrapping the post of elected mayor?

A handful of English towns have held a referendum on moving from a council/committee type governance to an elected mayor and cabinet style.

It seems odd that one complaint of the old system was that the council elected its own leader from its own ranks, rather than the public choosing. Then, when given the chance, who do the public elect? The former council leader!

After 47 local referendums on introducing the post of elected mayor, 34 towns rejected it in favour of the status quo. Stoke-on-Trent, having introduced the post in 2002, scrapped it in 2008.

Recently, in a day of 11 mayoral referendums, 10 of them resulted in rejection of elected mayors, with only Bristol voting in favour.

The question is, if Bristol wanted in future to scrap the post, how can it do it? Someone tells me that it is now virtually impossible thanks to the Localism Act 2011. I am not convinced this is the case and think that a referendum of the type that introduced the post can be used to scrap it.

Can someone clarify what procedure and legislation would be needed?

1 Answer

  • Mike
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    As far as I'm aware, it is practically impossible.

    First, you have to wait ten years (used to be five) from the original referendum before you can have another (in Bristol's case, they can't have one until 2022). There's also no way for the public to force a referendum to abolish the post (although you can force one to adopt the system); as far as I know it can only be brought about by two-thirds of the council voting to hold a referendum.

    Even if a town/city votes to get rid of the post, the mayor serves the full four-year term (even if it's another three years).

    So basically you're f*cked.

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