The Bristol Liberal Democrats have expressed delight at the collective decision made by Bath and North East Somerset voters to reject plans for an elected mayor.
Directly-elected mayors were first introduced by the Local Government Act 2000. The majority of referendums on creating elected mayors since then have resulted in ‘no’ votes. Bristol was the only city out of ten to vote for an elected mayor in 2012.
Kay Barnard, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor said:
“It’s time for Bristol to have the chance to vote on rejecting the concept of an elected Mayor. Determined effort by the local Lib Dems with former Lib Dem leader of the Council Barbara Janke caused a U-turn by the government to allow Bristolians a further vote on whether they want the elected Mayoral system to stay.
“If elected as Mayor I will work hard to give Bristolians the chance to vote as soon as possible over whether they wish to continue with an elected Mayor. Ideally this should be a choice on the ballot paper on May 5th. In Bristol all the power has been concentrated in one pair of hands, which is a backwards step in democracy. As Mayor I will work with others to cooperate and share power. Looking at the overwhelming decision made by Bath’s residents to reject a city mayor, it is clear that they have been looking over their shoulders at what has happened to Bristol since we voted ‘yes’ in 2012.”