Changing governance

In a referendum held on 3 May 2012, the citizens of Bristol voted in favour of a Directly Elected Mayor (DEM) to lead the city by a margin of around 5,100 votes. From a turnout of 24%, 41,032 people voted in favour of a mayor, while 35,880 voted against. The election of the new mayor takes place in November 2012. It follows that, in a very short period of time, the governance of Bristol will be changed dramatically.

This innovative project aims to gather information on stakeholders’ views prior to the Mayoral election and both monitor and contribute to the development of Mayoral model of governance.

One response to “Changing governance

  1. From November 2012 onward, the Bristol Mayor is to be elected independently through a process similar to that used to elect the London Mayor. From then onwards also, the Bristol Council could and should be elected through a process similar to that used to elect the London Assembly (i.e. truly proportional).
    More specifically, for Bristol:

    1. The Political Chief Executive (i.e. the Bristol Mayor) should be elected independently by TV 1 processes (i.e. AV, rather than by SV as currently).

    2. The Representative Assembly (i.e. the Bristol Council) should be elected independently by AMS 50/TV 1 processes (rather than FPTP as currently):
    a. The current 35 wards could and should be carried forward, but each ward could and should elect only a single Councillor by TV 1 processes (i.e. AV, rather than the current two Councillors by FPTP).
    b. The remaining 35 Councillors could and should be elected from party lists to top-up the 35 ward Councillors to achieve overall representation in the Council truly-proportional to party preferences.

    In order to empower the Bristol Mayor and Council to be able to consider such an option, primary legislation would be required in Westminster. The best route for this would be an EDM (Early Day Motion) sponsored by sympathetic MPS at the request of sympathetic directly-elected Mayors; potentially supported by the provisions of the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Act 2010.

    It would be a tragedy for representative democracy in general, for the ‘Mayor’ concept in general, for the ‘Mayor’ concept in Bristol, and indeed for Bristol itself, if the ‘Mayoral’ governance of Bristol failed to reach its true potential because of a sub-optimal constitutional relationship between the Bristol Mayor and a (non-proportional party-biased) Bristol Council.

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