Fringe Box



Letter: Perhaps Petition Raisers Should Consider The Cost?

Published on: 9 May, 2016
Updated on: 8 May, 2016

GBC petitionFrom Fiona White

Lib Dem county councillor for Guildford West

While elections were taking place in Scotland, Wales, London and many councils last Thursday (May 5), Torbay was quietly having a referendum on whether to abandon the elected mayor form of local government.

The result, which has not made national news, is that 62 per cent of the electorate decided to return to the leader and cabinet system while 38 per cent voted to keep the mayor.

As I understand it, Torbay will have had the expense of a referendum to change to an elected mayor, the costs of changing the council system and now the cost of another referendum because they were unhappy with the change.

Maybe those determined to force Guildford into a referendum should bear that in mind?

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Responses to Letter: Perhaps Petition Raisers Should Consider The Cost?

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    May 9, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Please forgive me for asking this question a second time, but in anticipation of this petition eventually achieving the required number of signatures, would Mr Mansbridge, Ms Juneja, Mr Harper, or indeed any other contributor to this debate, like to explain the benefits of our having such an official in place and how it might improve the running and efficiency of the council.

    Also, should someone be elected to this new office and subsequently prove to be incompetent or otherwise unsuitable prior to the end of their elected term of office, how might they be removed from that office?

    My main concern is that unless a candidate is financially rather well off and able to fund their own campaign entirely from their own pocket, they will have to have financial sponsors. If that is the case, will the candidate not therefore be beholden to their sponsors or, in common parlance be “in their pocket”?

    We have invited Mr Mansbridge to write an article giving his views on the advantages of the Elected Mayor form of local governance. He has indicated that he might do so after the status of the petition for a referendum is known. Ed.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Let’s be frank, and notice the elephant in the room. The benefits of this plan are quite clear to me. The elected mayor would be in line to receive a salary in the region of £250,000 pounds, given similar salaries elsewhere.

    He would also have absolute discretion to appoint “special advisors” into sinecure roles on the council.

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