There has been some debate recently regarding an elected Mayor proposal for Salford. I blogged about this here back in July.
Recent correspondence in the Salford Advertiser from the petition organisers Geoffrey Berg (a resident in Prestwich, which comes under Bury Council) and Paul Whitelegg (English Democrat party) suggests that an elected Mayor could “reduce Salford’s spending” and lower the city’s council tax. However, Paul Whitelegg agrees in his letter that the cost of the Referendum alone would be add around £1.50 to Salford’s annual council tax bill, so he is proposing I pay an extra £1.50 to fund his Referendum in my city. This flies in the face of his suggestion that an elected Mayor would be able to lower council tax bills, since the first action of any elected Mayor would have to be to raise Salford’s council tax to pay the Referendum bill!
But ignoring the cost, can the English Democrats explain why Salford would want an elected Mayor when their own Doncaster Mayor has failed miserably since he was elected in 2009?
In fact, following the government’s decision to intervene in his running of Doncaster in April of this year because of a damning Audit Commission report that city is likely to have another expensive Referendum to see if they would like to go back to more widespread representation.
In the few short years Doncaster has had an English Democrat elected Mayor, he has ignored a vote of no confidence in his leadership carried by locally elected councillors, has overseen the closure of 14 local libraries and withdrawn council funding for maintaining sports grounds which serve over a dozen former mining communities. After just two and a half years in power, his policies appear to have done nothing to improve the lives of the people of Doncaster. They will do nothing to improve the lives of Salfordians.