Four weeks to go. The noise of debate can be heard in other cities but there’s hardly a whisper of it in Nottingham. Apathy is reported in many quarters. GMB’s Mysterious Information Officer worries that turnout may be low.
Other cities have candidates already vying for an office that does not even exist yet. Who will be mayor is not the issue for now but it helps create a conversation. Nottingham has strong potential candidates but they are mostly silent.
Maybe there are some stirrings as people start to connect people with policies and see an opportunity for change that has previously not been available. There are some – reader, I have readers – who are saying Yes to a Mayor for Nottingham. There are others who are thinking about it. There are those who think it’s all a waste of time and money. And of course there is the larger group who know nothing about it and maybe wouldn’t care if they did.
My cards are on the table but I’m not campaigning. I offer opinion, comment and relevant stories I come across. This is just a blog and a facebook page. Just me. I’m in favour of change and I’m writing about why.
I’ve written here (and on facebook), over the last month or so, half a dozen pieces setting out why I think now is the time for a Mayor for Nottingham.
I think Nottingham’s chances of punching its proper weight as a metropolitan city will be enhanced by having a mayor, most particularly when other big cities will have them. If David Cameron sets up his promised mayors cabinet then what prospects for Nottingham with no-one at the table but with Leicester already there? Successful cities will have mayors. Nottingham needs one.
Most important for me is the issue of democratic principal. The Leader of the Council is only ever tested at the ballot box in just one city ward and then is chosen by just a few tens of politicians, from one political party, in a secret meeting. I think we should all get to vote for the person that leads our city.
The Nottingham Post has started its referendum coverage and BBC Radio Nottingham are showing an interest. There is a Yes Campaign out there (I’ve no association with it) and the message from the No people is that the “Tory Extra Mayor”** must be stopped.
The “Extra” there takes me back to almost where I started as the second piece I wrote (March 6th) was called “It’s nothing to do with the Lord Mayor”. If you’re just getting interested in all this then that’s a good place to start and links to the other things I’ve written can be found nearby. Here is a 300 word quick read on the subject.
My YES to a Mayor for Nottingham facebook page is here.
** I very much doubt it would be a Tory Extra Mayor. I’m sure if it comes to it there will be someone willing to be the Labour Extra Mayor.
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