I thought I’d give my view on some of the nonsense bandied around by the Bristol Labour Party concerning the imminent referendum (Thursday 5th May) on whether we keep the Mayoral governance system in Bristol.
‘The Committee System was a failure’
No, Tony Blair’s government decided to scrap it and force the Leader and Cabinet model on cities like Bristol.
‘Committees are smoke-filled rooms where decisions are made in secret’
Under the Mayoral system, people have been kept in the dark about decision-making. With a committee system, there’ll transparency and the public can hold their local councillors to greater account.
‘Opposition councillors want to take away your right to elect the city’s leader’
No, they want to give you more power to hold a collective leadership of 70 councillors to account.
‘Councillors have plenty of power, actually. What about the Budget?’
Mayor will eventually get it through as long as he has 1/3 of the Council chamber. That’s 24 councillors who’ll be whipped to vote his way or risk suspension.
‘Councillors have quite a lot of power, actually. What about Planning & Licensing?’
These are regulatory committees, which would continue to function completely separately from those making policy under a committee system. Also..
..Most planning decisions are made by Development Management officers and the power that councillors have is very often overruled by Government inspectors/ministers for developers with deep pockets. And..
..The mayor controls the process that sets local planning policy and budgets for supporting and training Planning and Licensing staff.
‘Committees won’t get anything done because of all the bickering’
Of course people will disagree from time to time. It would be odd if they didn’t. But most councillors work well together on regulatory and scrutiny committees because they leave their party colours at the door.
As far as party-political bickering goes, It’s up to each party group to decide how they will behave on policy-making committees and remember that their behaviour can be observed by their electorate. /10
‘This referendum is a waste of money that could be spent on more important things’.
I’m sure this argument about democracy has been used since Greek times by those favouring a dictatorial model. Anyhow, the cost of pandering to one man’s personal ambitions is far higher.
‘The Mayor has brought lots of investment into the City by travelling around the world’
‘Globetrotter is a great name for a basketball team. Less so for a City Mayor’ & no real evidence to suggest that we couldn’t attract this investment without it.
If any these trips are funded by the Council purse, I refer you to the previous argument about the cost of democracy. If they are funded by potential business partners, there is real concern about conflict of interest and of course limited opportunity for scrutiny.
‘What about all the good work being done by Andy Burnham in Manchester?’
Andy is not a city mayor. It’s true there are benefits to Regional Mayors and devolution brings more direct investment to a region. However..
..there’s less power concentrated in the hands of regional mayors, than city mayors & they’re more accountable, as they have to work with their constituent authorities.
I voted against having a mayor in 2012 because it’s fundamentally undemocratic. But, still, I, like many people didn’t realise how lacking in accountability it has actually turned out to be. #Vote4Change #ScrapTheMayor on #May5th

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jo Sergeant #ScrapTheMayor

Jo Sergeant #ScrapTheMayor Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!