LGP News - Undemocratic: Labour push through consultation for mayor
|Undemocratic: Labour push through consultation for mayor|
|Wed, Nov 24, 2010|
On Friday 19.11.10, Labour Councillors carried out an historic and shameful act and denied 215,000 people in Leicester a vote on whether they want an elected mayor.
Instead, 34 Labour Councillors pushed through a decision to start a public consultation for an elected mayor, with only two Labour Councillors voting against.
The plan for a mayor, delayed since July, is now being rushed through. There has been no scrutiny of the decision and its implications. There are only 11 working days for a consultation, which is not enough time to inform people on the issues in the run-up to Christmas.
The Labour Party says an elected mayor will reinvigorate local politics and streamline decision-making. A consultation also avoids the £250,000 cost of a referendum.
But that is not a good enough reasons to deny people a referendum. Labour are ignoring the cost of running a mayor’s office and the extra cost of a parliamentary by-election if a Leicester MP is elected as mayor.
The option facing the council is either to have a cabinet with a leader, which is always the leader of the majority group, or to have an elected mayor.
A vote for a mayor would take place on May 5, 2011 alongside the city-wide council elections.
Councillors will consider the results of the consultation on December 9 before making a final decision on December 22.
Nevertheless, a Localism Bill is due out next year from the coalition government, which requires people to vote on plans for mayors. What this does to Labour’s one is uncertain.