Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Mayor Who Will Listen to All; FEEDBACK

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Mayor Who Will Listen to All; FEEDBACK

Article excerpt

FOLLOWING the mayoral referendum let's hope an independently-minded person, who will listen to all sectors of the public, stands.

Further, hopefully any incoming incumbent will consider instigating a new system of democratic accountability, where all councillors would have an equal input.

I would suggest that a fairer and more cost-effective system would dispense with the executive and rely instead on all party, non-weighted committees. This would save the public purse over PS100,000, since all councillors would only have the basic salary, with no extra for chairing. If the mayor himself/ herself then also took a down pay to a more reasonable level of between PS30- 40,000, a further saving of over PS20,000 could be effected.

The mayor would retain his/ her own veto to be used sparingly and only after due deliberation, where committee decisions were diametrically opposed to the incumbent's general proposals. A six weekly, proper update on all mayoral activities would be to hand in writing before the council meetings and there would be no hiacking of those proceedings either.

All members would then be kept to the same agreed time for speaking, including the mayor, and the chairmanship of such meetings would be on a strict, rotational, all party basis, so that no one person, or party monopolises that important, impartial position.

JACKIE ELDER, Linthorpe ON the basis of a low turnout, the voters of Middlesbrough decided to continue having an elected mayor.

The impression I have formed is that those who wanted the existing system to continue thought they knew that if it was the councillors who elected a leader it would automatically be a Labour man, and by implication they were expressing more confi-dence in some independent, however little he knew about local government Of course it is possible still for a Labour nomination to be made and that person to be elected.

The fact that Labour councillors have been arguing against the system does not mean that when the time comes one will not put themselves forward. …

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