07 July 2000
The group, Referendum for Change, wants to test public support for an elected mayor through a referendum. It is also demanding the city council acts on proposals put forward by the Democracy Commission, which drew up a modernisation programme for Liverpool last year. Many Referendum for Change members sat on the commission's citizens' jury and believe the city has taken little action on its findings.
Graham Bell, a founding member of the group, which will officially launch in the next few weeks, said the system had to change to get voters interested in local government again.
The Liverpool activists are being backed by the New Local Government Network, which launched a nationwide campaign in favour of elected mayors at the Local Government Association conference on June 28. Called 'Your Mayor, Your Choice', it will provide funds to mount petitions and 'yes' campaigns in referendums, offer advice and provide publicity materials.