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Bristol elected mayor idea to be debated

Category: England

Published: 22nd Feb 2012 15:27:49

The idea of an elected mayor for Bristol is due to be debated later.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event at the Council House, which will feature two speakers for the idea and two against.

After the formal debate, the discussion will be opened to the public to discuss the issues with panellists and each other.

The polls will take place if voters approve the change in referendums scheduled for 3 May.

If approved, elections for mayors in 10 of England's biggest cities will happen on 15 November.

The other cities affected are Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield.

The lukewarm debate over whether Bristol should be run by an elected mayor is finally starting to heat up.

We now know there will be two campaign groups to battle over your "Yes" and "No" votes on 3 May.

'A Mayor For Bristol' is not led by politicians but an event manager, a PR executive and a business entrepreneur and argues a mayor will bring more political stability to the city. It has the backing of the Tories on Bristol City Council.

In the other corner, Liberal Democrat councillor Tim Kent is convening a cross-party No campaign. He warns that once elected, a Bristol mayor would be very difficult to remove unless he/she is sent to prison or dies on the job.

A vote to elect a mayor in Liverpool will take place on 3 May after the council there agreed to go ahead without a referendum.

Earlier, David Cameron told the Commons that he would like voters in Bristol to opt to have an elected mayor.

He said: "I'm hugely encouraged by what has happened in Liverpool recently, we'll be having these referenda and people in Bristol will have their chance to make that choice.

"But at the same time, what people I think haven't entirely noticed is the government is going through a huge act of devolution to cities in terms of the powers and the money that we're prepared to offer them so they can build their own futures."

This debate has been organised by the RSA, the University of Bristol, Bristol Festival of Ideas, and the Bristol branch of the Institute of Directors.

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BBC News, 2012. Bristol elected mayor idea to be debated [Online] (Updated 22nd Feb 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/860050/Bristol-elected-mayor-idea-to-be-debated [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

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