Directly elected mayor for Nottingham is a 'stupid' idea says city council leader
THE leader of Nottingham City Council has ridiculed the "stupid" proposal of having a directly elected London-style mayor for the city.
The coalition government has said it will create mayors in the 12 largest English cities, subject to "confirmatory referendums and full scrutiny by elected councillors".
The Conservative party confirmed Nottingham was in this list before the election.
But Councillor Jon Collins, Labour leader of the city council, said: "In Doncaster it led to a failing, dysfunctional council, in Hartlepool they elected a monkey.
"I think it's a stupid policy, it was stupid when Labour proposed it, it's stupid now.
"Having an elected dictator is not the best way forward."
Dr Matthew Ashton, politics lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, said the wording of the policy was not clear.
He said "confirmatory referendum" could mean they will hold the referendum after the appointment of the mayor.
"I'm always very suspicious of that because I don't think it's terribly democratic," he said.
"I think it's good in terms of having someone who has a mandate to speak for the entire city, sometimes it's good to have a single figure in power who will say, "this is what we're going to do" and cut through the red tape."
However, he warned that mayors are often "party political" and can be divisive.
He added: "More often than not it becomes about the person rather than the policy."