Green councillors on Bristol City Council have today called for a referendum on whether Bristol should sign up to the West of England devolution deal as set out in last week’s budget. The deal includes the introduction of an additional ‘Metro Mayor’ for the West of England and councillors say it is undemocratic to impose this without a clear steer from the people of Bristol.

The group is proposing that Bristol hold the ballot on 23rd June, at the same time as the referendum on whether to stay in the European Union.

Green councillor for Easton, Anna McMullen who has been following the negotiations said:

“When the Mayor of Bristol was introduced, the people of Bristol voted to confirm that they wanted one.  This new proposal for another mayor (making three for Bristol) is being rushed through with no local say. Local people need to have a chance to discuss what this will mean for our city and our region.”

“The addition of a new regional tier of government will result in a change to the power and representation for local people. Weighed against what we stand to gain from the deal, is it worth it? Voters must have this choice put to them in a referendum.”

The call comes in addition to demands from Labour Councillors in South Gloucestershire, who have made similar proposals for their own authority [1], and petitions started online in Bath and North East Somerset to reject the deal outright [2].

Full text of the devolution agreement is available online [3].

Notes:

[1] http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Referendum-held-decide-Metro-Mayor/story-28942606-detail/story.html

[2] https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124825

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/west-of-england-devolution-deal