Thursday, 19 July 2012

We will NOT be seeing a Mayor for Cornwall

Despite the rather over the top articles in the media, Cornwall is not about to go down the route of having an elected mayor. And I'm disappointed that the Councils Comms Unit is pushing the idea.

What Cornwall is doing is conducting a governance review. A panel of councillors (including me) is looking at the various different options for making decisions and engaging with residents. The Localism Act allows councils to consider a range of options including a change back to the committee system. We have always been able to consider the mayoral system and that is, technically, one of the options now.

But, in order to follow that path, someone has to be pushing for it. This either has to be a councillor or a petition organised by the public. There is certainly no appetite that I know of among the public and the only councillor I have heard say anything nice about the mayoral system is Labour Cllr Jude Robinson - and she isn't pushing for the change.

The real debate is over whether we stay with a version of the Leader and Cabinet model or a form of committee system. Both have their merits and it is true to say that both can work well and both can work badly. Councillors on the panel are discussing the experiences of other authorities and a specialist group led by the Bishop of Truro is taking evidence from as many people as possible including those that the Council does business with on a regular basis.

So how come the media is concentrating on the possibility of an elected mayor?

At first I though it was them getting the wrong end of the stick. But it turns out to be fuelled by Cornwall Council's own Comms Department. A recent op-ed piece written by that team is titled:
Will we see a Mayor for Cornwall?
The simple answer is - No, we definitely won't. And I suggest that the Comms team turns up to the future meetings of the Governance Review Panel and follows the debate to find out just how out of touch they are with the views of their own members.

1 comment:

David said...

How else are we going to find a 'proper job' for the Kernow King?