Mayoral Scepticism

You know I’m in favour of a directly elected mayor, but I think this piece makes genuine and reasonable points about why you might take a different view:

Surveys reveal genuine public concern about the concentration of too much power in one person’s hands, and over the lack of say for councillors under a mayoral system. And councillors’ concerns about a reduced role should matter when we know from the Councillors Commission that a major challenge in attracting new candidates to local government is the perceived lack of power.


About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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2 Responses to Mayoral Scepticism

  1. Lone Ranger says:

    In 2006 I would have liked to have seen elected as Mayor an independent or a member of a minority party, whilst the make up council chamber remained as it was prior to 2006.

    This I feel would have brought home to those councillors how powerless they had become and the “checks and balances” were nigh on worthless.

    I’ve said before there’s no evidence a directly elected mayor makes for quicker or better decisions and a better run council.

  2. Andrew Brown says:

    I’m not sure that the current bunch of councillors see themselves as powerless – certainly Brian doesn’t. I should say that during the short period when I served under the previous system (as a backbench councillor) I can’t say I felt more empowered than when I served in the same capacity in the current regime.

    As for whether there’s a better run council as a result, I’d guess that is in part a matter of opinion, but also a matter of audit and performance assessment.

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