Well, 'mayhem's a bit strong maybe but basically, JoCo's been out being a bit of a dick on Twitter again so I simply have to take the piss. As you've no doubt guessed already he's getting increasingly desperate about the possibility of a mayor nicking all his power so he's been doing a sort of 'why vote no for a mayor' series of tweets. We'll take them apart one by one but first, can I warn you that the phrase '£1m Extra Tory Mayor' gets a repeated look-in...
Here we go then, #1
See? Now then, is Cllr Collins comparing like-with-like here? Of course he isn't. His '£1m' cost for a mayor is a total for of the imagined 4 year cost of the mayor's wages, plus referendum costs, election costs (which in fact will be lower because those costs will be shared with the police commissioner election but that's another story). On the other hand the £80m which the government has cut from the budget is for one year. I agree with Collins that one of those costs is very bad and unjustifiable.
Ok, cost is an issue but Collins as leader of the Council gets about £45k, much of which will be lost if a mayor is elected because the post of Leader will be much diminished (you see how this is going?). Futhermore, it's not yet clear how mayors' salaries will be decided so this is all conjecture.
I've touched on this before but clearly, JoCo has to pretend he doesn't read my blog. To summarise, under the current system, the leader of the Council has huge powers already and as far as the legislation says so far, a mayor won't really get anything extra apart from the ability to appoint assistants. So councillors are largely merely cannon fodder as it is, a mayor won't change that. The difference is we get the chance to vote for a mayor, the vast majority of the city has no possibility of any say in who gets to be the leader of the council.
If JoCo really believes this to be the big issue, he could issue a cast iron promise to return power to councillors by re-establishing the committee system if the referendum results in a 'no' vote. He won't do that though because hius agenda is solely based on his own self-interest.
Oh. Em. Gee. He really said that out loud folks. Can I re-refer you to the link above re power of leader vs mayor but there's too many scandals to link to. Let's just say that Collins' problem is that the 'one person' would no longer be him.
Well, it doesn't really does it? Any mayor is likely to be Labour and you'd worry if their manifesto was radically different to Labour councillors. Of course, if a Leader with much reduced power and influence was to make trouble out of personal spite then that might cause difficulties but I can't see anyone being so immature, can you?
Not the strongest of arguments is it? It's failed elsewhere so the whole concept is screwed. If it had failed in the majority of places he may have had a point. It's worth pointing out that the failure of the mayor in Stoke was partly due to wholesale political meltdown in the city. It was within a hair's breadth of becoming the first BNP council. A lot of that was due to the failure of Labour politicians who lost the confidence of the electorate due to complacency.
Ah yes Doncaster, the ultimate Labour political basket case. People voted for the English Democrats chump due to wholesale disaffection with years of corrupt Labour regimes. Is JoCo concerned about a similar situation in Nottingham?
If they stand and the people see one of them as the best option then that could happen. People vote for 'joke' candidates when they are totally disillusioned with the mainstream ones (how do you think Boris got half his votes?) As it happens, the monkey in Hartlepool got re-elected and his administration does at least appear to be functional.
#8. No, sorry 9
This is, of course, a particular problem for a politician with no discernible personality whatsoever so you can understand JoCo's hostility. But of course, any leadership election has an element of personality to it. You might as well argue against the tides.
Oh, as you can see, I've left a reply in this one. 'Mayor for Nottingham' is run by Stephen Barker, former PR chief at NCC. Looks like things weren't very happy in the hen-house after all.
Yeah, he's supposedly running and if the people of Salford decide that the best person to run their city is an ex-con with a record of violence and no political experience then that's the world you have to deal with and their mainstream politicians need to ask themselves a lot of difficult questions. Who knows, he might decide to run as a ward councillor next time. Is Collins suggesting he should be banned from doing that?
Actually, he might have a point on this one. Another way of looking at it is that it's such a good idea that both Collins and Price oppose it!
So there you go. That's the best our current Leader of our Council, the man who already holds mayor equivalent powers (not that he likes to broadcast that at the moment) can do.
Anybody really want to argue that stripping this idiot's powers and giving them to someone we actually get to vote for is a bad idea?
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