How would you like Nottingham City Council to be run? It’s your choice.

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The referendum to be held in Nottingham (and similarly in) ten other cities on May 3rd will ask;

How would you like Nottingham City Council to be run?

By a leader who is an elected councillor chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors. This is how the council is run now.

(OR)

By a mayor who is elected by voters. This would be a change from how the council is run now.

This is Rahm Emanual, Mayor of Chicago

Some people see a bias in the question.

I leave you to make up your own mind about that.

Nottingham City Council has taken a formal policy position which is against the introduction of a Mayor. They want to stick with current the current ‘strong leader and cabinet model’. You can read more about the referendum and the council’s views on it by clicking here

To publicise the referendum the council is running an advertising campaign on city centre information  panels.

Thanks to @mikebettison for this picture

The wording on these posters reads;

Does Nottingham need an elected Mayor?

Nottingham City Council is opposed to the introduction of an elected Mayor.

It believes the cost does not represent value for money particularly in the current economic climate. The government disagrees and has decided that a referendum will be held on the question.

So it’s your choice. The referendum on May 3rd is your chance to have your say.

Some people here and here wonder if there is bias in this.

I leave you to make up your own mind about that.

It’s your choice.

Footnote : For the wonks amongst you … The Local Government Code on Publicity (and I should know) says;

“Section 125 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 places a specific restriction on the publication by a local authority of material relating to a referendum under Part 7 of that Act, during the period of 28 days immediately before the referendum is held.

Regulation 5 of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/2089) prohibits local authorities from publishing material in the 28 days immediately before a referendum which expresses support for, or opposition to a particular answer to a referendum question relating to the constitutional arrangements of the authority.

Regulation 15 of the Local Authorities (Referendums, Petitions and Directions) (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000/2852) prohibits local authorities from incurring expenditure to publish material which appears designed to influence people in deciding whether or not to sign a petition relating to the constitutional arrangements of the authority, or to assist others to publish such material.”

and

“In general, local authorities should not issue any publicity which seeks to influence voters.

However this general principle is subject to any statutory provision which authorises expenditure being incurred on the publication of material designed to influence the public as to whether to support or oppose a question put at a referendum.

It is acceptable to publish material relating to the subject matter of a referendum, for example to correct any factual inaccuracies which have appeared in publicity produced by third parties, so long as this is even-handed and objective and does not support or oppose any of the options which are the subject of the vote.”

I leave you to make up your own mind about that as well.

NB. 28 days before the referendum is April 5th.

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