Author Topic: Stoke to vote on mayors  (Read 3972 times)

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Offline swindonlad

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Stoke to vote on mayors
« on: October 13, 2008, 01:07:15 PM »
Stoke on Trent City Council will vote on the 23rd October to see if they want to keep an elected mayor.  the model they have is currently an elected mayor with a council manager appointed by him, this is not allowed any more - the options are now an elected mayor & cabinet or the leader & cabinet model.

this will be of interest as it's the first time a referendum will have occured where a mayor exists & potentially could be the 1st mayor removed

The wording of the referendum question is set by law and will be: "Are you in favour of the proposal for Stoke-on-Trent City Council to be run in a new way, which includes a councillor, who will be elected by the councillors of Stoke-on-Trent to lead the Council and the community which it serves?"

If the majority vote is YES then the leader and cabinet system will be introduced.
If the majority vote is NO then the elected mayor and cabinet system will be introduced

more details can be found at: http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/council-and-democracy/decision-making/our-city-our-future/



Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 01:14:22 PM »
 
Quote
Stoke on Trent City Council will vote on the 23rd October to see if they want to keep an elected mayor


Surely you mean the voters of Stoke will vote?


Should be interesting.

The Mayor + Council Manager was always a shit leadership option and was removed when the Local Government Act was amended last year.

Overall.....  :popcorn:
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 07:28:42 PM by Geoff Reid »

Offline Northern_Soul

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 07:03:34 PM »
I think elected mayors aren't really the answer. Also, some people have made the claim that having an elected mayor will increase people's involvement in democracy and voting. however, from my experience, asking the electorate to vote on yet another topic doesn't tackle voter apathy, it makes it worse.

in relation to stoke, i think one of the reasons that an elected mayor would be a bad idea is because the BNP are very strong in that area and would stand a good chance of winning. i'm sure nobody wants that. BNP = scum.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 07:38:56 PM »
...from my experience, asking the electorate to vote on yet another topic doesn't tackle voter apathy, it makes it worse.

Interesting point, I'd like to know how it could be made any worse.... so could you elaborate on your experience ?



in relation to stoke, i think one of the reasons that an elected mayor would be a bad idea is because the BNP are very strong in that area and would stand a good chance of winning. i'm sure nobody wants that. BNP = scum.

Stoke already has an elected Mayor and has had one since 2002.

The first elected Mayor of Stoke was Mike Wolfe (Independent) in 2002, and Mark Meredith (Labour) was voted in as Elected Mayor in May 2006.

What did the BNP poll in the last mayoral election in Stoke? 

I already know the answer, but I'd like to see if you do  ;)


Offline Alligator

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 08:45:16 PM »
I think elected mayors aren't really the answer.

What was the question?  I ask this as, from what I've seen from the debate on here and elsewhere, many different people appear to see many different pros and cons of an elected mayor model, voter apathy being only one potential, yet unconfirmed, benefit.




Offline Mart

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 09:28:43 PM »
The current elected Mayor in Stoke was the chap that blew the whistle on 6 (I think) teachers going on a jolly teacher training trip to Marbella, but it was OK cos the school was going to be shutdown for the duration of their trip. Conservative estimates put the cost at £18k, course that's just the financial cost. I think there are other costs if this kind of behaviour is perceived as acceptable.

The council spokesman said 'No comment'.

In the inimitable tones of council spokesman everywhere.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline swindonlad

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 12:13:46 PM »

Quote
Stoke on Trent City Council will vote on the 23rd October to see if they want to keep an elected mayor


Surely you mean the voters of Stoke will vote?


ooops - yes, the council have voted already, to agree to a public vote to change the system which they had to change...

Offline Northern_Soul

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2008, 02:18:59 PM »
Geoff,

Apologies for my mistake regarding Stoke, oops.

On your first question - My experience comes from researching elections for local councils, counties, european parliament and university politics. Asking people to vote a lot has been shown to reduce participation as people get confused as to the issues and may become disengaged. The best way to improve turnout is to combine elections such as will be done next year in other areas for local and european elections. Also, experimenting with new types of voting such as postal and internet based voting have seen good successes.

On question number 2 - The BNP received 15,776 votes, 19.14% of the vote. This is an increase from 18% in the 2002 election. The most recent polls and voter surveys in stoke and other areas of the Midlands indicate that support for the BNP is growing. Whilst the current Mayor received over 10,000 more votes than the BNP candidate in 2006, 1 vote for the BNP is a tragedy. In the last local elections in the East Midlands, several wards saw BNP candidates run without opposition, personally this makes me terrified.

My opposition towards the BNP is a product of where I come from originally. Having seen the poison that the BNP promote at first hand and the effect that they can have on communities I am passionate about confronting them. The policy in some areas is to ignore the BNP and hope they go away, this is the wrong approach. All evidence from areas like Blackburn, Oldham and Burnley indicate that confronting these people is the only way to get rid of them. The BNP are getting closer in the South West to gaining an MEP and I think a lot of people are unaware of this and the threat of the BNP here needs to be confronted.

Sorry for going about the BNP in this discussion but I started so I though I may as well finish!

Did I pass your test geoff?

Offline Northern_Soul

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2008, 02:21:25 PM »
apologies for the spelling mistakes by the way.

one more thing geoff, i do know that the BNP didn't get through to the 2nd round of votes in the mayoral elections and had their 2nd preferences reallocated.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 08:41:04 PM »
 
Quote
Did I pass your test geoff?

What test?, I just wondered whether you realised how big the gap between the BNP mayoral candidate and the winner actually was, because you had previously said:
 
In relation to stoke, i think one of the reasons that an elected mayor would be a bad idea is because the BNP are very strong in that area and would stand a good chance of winning. i'm sure nobody wants that. BNP = scum.

Apart from the fact that the BNP are, whether we like it or not, a legally constituted political party, if, (as you suggest), the BNP might increase in voting numbers to the point where they could win the Stoke Mayoralty, then I suggest they would also be gaining council seats at a rate that they could soon dominate Stoke council regardless of which leadership system is in place.  At present it is clear that they aren't a threat to the other parties politically, and they can only ever win if that is the democratic will of the population. 

You might be sure that "Nobody wants that", but if a majority of voters in local and Mayoral elections did want exactly 'that', then to argue against the result is somewhat anti-democratic isn't it?  I know you say you research electoral results for local councils, counties, the european parliament and university politics...but, in light of your comments above, I have to wonder whether the reports you produce, and presumably get paid for, are entirely objective.

Democracy means that sometimes the other side wins, even when you don't like them, so 'The other guy might win!....' isn't a valid objection to holding elections. Down that route Robert Mugabes Zimbabwe lies....

...and it's precisely because Swindon Cllrs Bawden, Bates and Evemy indulged in some banana republic politics of their own that we're having this discussion about elected Mayors now.

Finally, I think the basis upon which you object to elected Mayors seems based on a seriously overstated 'threat' from the BNP. Perhaps, as you're well versed in electoral results, you could tell us how many BNP leaders of councils, MP's, MEP's and Mayors are currently in office in the UK?



Offline swindonlad

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2008, 04:56:20 PM »
The result of the Stoke Referendum:

Leader & Cabinet - 21,231
Elected Mayor - 14,592

Turnout 19.23%

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Stoke to vote on mayors
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2008, 05:11:14 PM »

Not surprised after several years of a Mayor + council manager arrangement  :)

We'll see how the electorate adapt to the council appointed leader + cabinet and whether, after a couple of years of that arrangement they'll start noticing the 'accountability gap' that several communities in Swindon are currently feeling.

It's good to be able to see the entire spectrum.