The Mayoral Referendum
The referendum for a Mayor in Leeds
There is a parallel in local government. Councillors decide on policies and some of them also have a responsibility to direct key areas of Council work. One of them leads the work of the whole Council. Setting up an executive mayor is fraught with risk as the election campaign locally could easily degenerate into a battle of personality. Do we really want a local version of a Boris versus Ken contest? A mayor when elected can choose who he or she wants to form part of the executive to run Council services and to pay them handsomely. Councillors are powerless, being guaranteed only two seats on this executive. No one can sack the Mayor - you are stuck with him or her for four full years. Elected Councillors loose their powers to hold the decision makers to account - in fact the very rationale for electing local councillors each year can be questioned. I cannot think that it represents any kind of progress or improvement to so completely sever the connection between local representatives and the responsibility for delivering the essential services that local people rely on.