Magazine article Public Finance

Raynsford Rules out Compulsory Mayoral Vote

Magazine article Public Finance

Raynsford Rules out Compulsory Mayoral Vote

Article excerpt

Ministers will not force councils to hold referendums on new powerful directly elected mayors, despite wantinq big cities to take up the idea.

Local government minister Nick Raynsford told Public Finance that he hoped major urban areas would be persuaded to adopt new 'city-region' mayors.

Buoyed by events in London, ministers want to see more mayors with wider-ranging powers in areas such as transport and economic policy, like the capital's Ken Livingstone, rather than replicating existing mayors outside the capital who have a limited remit.

Despite conceding that for the mayoral concept to succeed it had to be taken up by a major city other than London, Raynsford ruled out making referendums compulsory, as some pro-mayor supporters have urged.

Civil servants and policy gurus were said to be considering ways of imposing referendums for mayors, including forcing failing councils to have a vote or including a mayoral question on a normal electoral ballot. …

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