Directly elected for Mayor for Leeds?

Elected mayor the way you go must be your decision.
Photo by Rob Farrow under creative commons license

Directly elected Mayors for Leeds is this a good idea or bad for local democracy?

Leeds is going to the polls on May 3 to decide on a referendum for locally a elected Mayor what will you be voting for?

 The UK Parliament website describes:

The Conservatives in opposition pledged to hold mayoral referendums inEngland’s twelve largest cities outside London. Following the passage of the Localism Act 2011, ministerial orders providing for mayoral referendums in each of the cities on 3 May 2012 have now been approved by Parliament and made by ministers. These relate to ten cities since the city councils of both Leicester andLiverpoolhave resolved to adopt mayoral systems. The Government has announced that elections will take place on 15 November 2012 in those cities which vote for a mayoral system.

As regards mayoral powers, the Localism Act allows for the delegation of “local public functions” to “permitted authorities”. The Government is taking a “bespoke” city-by-city approach to the decentralisation of powers. However, it has said that cities with an elected mayor will automatically meet the requirement for strong and accountable leadership necessary for taking on new powers and funding streams.

Would a directly elected Mayor be good for Leeds?

The worry for me is how much power is invested in one individual and their ability to steamroller through their plans for a city without any reference to locally elected councilors I know that their has been real concern regarding the actions of the Mayor of Doncaster by the local councilors who have felt that their voice as local elected representatives has not been heard and effectively ignored this can’t be good for local democracy the system of which has evolved and developed to provide for consultation and governance with checks and balances to protect the public good this may not be perfect but at least it is accountable and honestly representative. So I for one will be opposing this concept.

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