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BIRMINGHAM MAYORAL VOTE "NEXT YEAR"

20-05-2010

Brummies are likely to get the chance to decide if they want an elected mayor as early as next year, The Stirrer has discovered. The new Conservative-Lib Dem government is planning a “Referendum Day” which will also include a ballot on electoral reform.

An attempt by the Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson to drum up support for a mayoral referendum in 2007 fell well short of the required 36,000 signatures required to trigger a poll on the issue, but David Cameron has always made clear his support for the idea which – in Tory ideology – dates back to Michael Hesletine in the 1980’s.

In oppositon Nick Clegg also threw the Liberal Democrats’ weight behind the plan.

Although a number of cities already have mayors, the new generation of Council boss will have far greater executive powers than we’ve hitherto seen in the UK.

Like their US counterparts, they’ll have direct control of housing, planning and regeneration.

Coventry will also be forced to hold a referendum, along with 10 other English cities.

Tory sources have indicated that provision for a vote is likely to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech – no doubt to the annoyance of Birmingham Conservative leader Mike Whitby who has firmly set his face against party policy in this regard.

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