Birmingham unable to agree on mayors

20 Sep 01
Birmingham looks set to become the battleground for directly elected mayors, with both sides claiming victory in this week's consultative referendum.

21 September 2001

More than 100,000 residents (46.4%) voted in favour of retaining the current system of a leader with a Cabinet in the city-wide consultative referendum.

But just over 40% expressed a preference for a mayor with a Cabinet and 13.4% wanted a mayor with a council manager. Supporters claim that adding the latter two options together puts 53.6% of residents in favour of a mayor.

But campaigners will meet resistance from the majority of the city's councillors, who have already indicated that they will vote to retain the leader-with-Cabinet model at a meeting on October 1.

Council leader Albert Bore, one of the few advocates of mayors, is now likely to look for ministerial intervention.

'The council is duty-bound to hold a binding referendum,' said John Williams, executive director of the New Local Government Network.


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