Bath says “No” to an elected Mayor

The people of Bath and North East Somerset voted overwhelmingly against the introduction of an elected Mayor for the city with a massive 79% voting against the proposal.

Kay Barnard, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor said “It’s time for Bristol to have the chance to vote on rejecting the concept of an elected Mayor.  Determined effort by the local Lib Dems with former Lib Dem leader of the Council Barbara Janke caused a U-turn by the government to allow Bristolians a further vote on whether they want the elected Mayoral system to stay.

“If elected as Mayor I will work hard to give Bristolians the chance to vote as soon as possible over whether they wish to continue with an elected Mayor.  Ideally this should be a choice on the ballot paper on May 5th.  In Bristol all the power has been concentrated in one pair of hands, which is a backwards step in democracy.  As Mayor I will work with others to cooperate and share power.  Looking at the overwhelming decision made by Bath’s residents to reject a city mayor, it is clear that they have been looking over their shoulders at what has happened to Bristol since we voted ‘yes’ in 2012.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. The Bath mayoral referendum took place on Thursday 10th March.
  2. Voters rejected plans for an elected mayor in Bath and North East Somerset with a 79% “no” vote
  3. A total of 30,557 votes were cast to retain the current system and 8,054 voted in favour of a directly-elected mayor. The turnout was 29%
  4. Directly-elected mayors were first introduced by the Local Government Act 2000. The majority of referendums on creating elected mayors since then have resulted in ‘no’ votes.
  5. Bristol was the only one of ten cities to vote in favour of introducing a mayor in 2012

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  1. Stockwood Pete
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    As Kay Barnard’s promise stands, it’s seriously flawed.

    Before rushing into another referendum for or against the mayoral system, we should know (or maybe even choose) what system is to replace it. After all, we probably got the mayoral system not because people actually wanted it – they were just fed up, and with good reason, with what went before.

    It wouldn’t be too difficult to run a referendum in which the three available options – mayoralty, leader and cabinet, or committee system – could be put in order of preference. It might even provoke a bit of thought about which is really the ‘least worst’ option, rather than the knee-jerk negativity of the 2012 vote.

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