The May 3rd referendum on a Mayor for Nottingham – in just 299 words.

We should all get to vote for the person who leads the city. It should not be a behind-closed-doors decision of a single political party.

Successful cities are led by mayors. Governments deal with mayors. Mayors deal with each other.

The government is offering greater freedoms and faster access to funding to those cities that choose to have a mayor.

Cities without mayors will be in a second-city-division. Leaders of Councils will be in a second-leadership-division.

Nottingham loses out now because it’s seen as a smaller city with a population below 300,000 but more than 600,000 people live in metropolitan Nottingham.

No-one running the city now is keen to create a metropolitan Nottingham; turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

A new mayor, unrestrained by party-political chains, could work to create a metropolitan Nottingham and that would be a good thing.

A mayor does not weaken the council. It makes it more powerful by making it more relevant. A mayor and an already high-achieving council, working together, could be very effective.

Parties opposing a new mayor see a threat to their power. Politicians opposing a mayor now may see an opportunity once nominations open.

There will be some savings, a one-off cost to the council to run the referendum and election and the mayor will be paid a salary. It’s worth paying a small price for increased democracy, even in relatively difficult economic times.

Not many people know the name of the Leader of the Council. A lot more would know the name of the mayor. It’s a crude test, but it matters.

The referendum is not a Yes / No question. If you want a directly elected mayor for Nottingham you have to vote for ‘a change from how the council is run now’.

It’s your choice.

Go for it.

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