Northeast councils join in mayoral referendums

13 Sep 01
The Northeast will be the focus of the campaign for directly elected mayors, with Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency Sedgefield confirming that it will join three other neighbouring boroughs for referendums on next month's 'Super Thursday'.

14 September 2001

The borough council will join Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and North Tyneside, the constituency of Transport, Local Government and the Regions Secretary Stephen Byers, to hold a referendum on October 18.

The decision follows eight separate consultations with residents, including a household survey and youth forums.

But figures show that response was poor, in one case just 2%, and despite residents being generally in favour of a leader with a Cabinet, the council said there was still significant support for a directly elected mayor.

Mayoral campaigners will be heartened by Sedgefield's decision, hoping that it will force a definitive policy statement from Blair.

Sunderland council has also indicated that it will join the referendum train but is likely to follow several days later.

Brighton and Hove and Lewisham have already confirmed that they will join the Super Thursday polls.


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