A Mayor for Nottingham?

There is a debate going on in Nottingham at the moment, ahead of the elections on 3rd May, as to whether Nottingham needs a Mayor. Currently, the head of Nottingham City Council is elected by the Council themselves – Nottingham residents have no say in that. A Mayor would change that. Similar to London where a Mayor is voted for every few years, we too would vote for our Mayor.

There are other blogs out there putting the case forward for a Mayor. I too, think it’s a good idea. What has struck me, though, is the attitude of Nottingham City Council.

Apparently, they have spent a considerable sum on posters asking voters (tax-payers, payers of wages for the Council etc.) to vote No in the election. At what stage did the Council ask me (a tax-payer, payer of their wages) whether I wanted them to spend that money on an election campaign? Answer: never. They should have saved the money to spend on services, and let the public (tax-payers … you get the drift …) decide for themselves.

But the biggest sign of hypocrisy so far has been that the Council are using the cost of a Mayor as a reason to say No. This is the same Council that refuses to tell the Government, and us tax-payers, how much they spend per year on everything (the only Council to do so) because it costs money to produce! If money and costs are their motivation for not having a Mayor, they should stop their hypocrisy and tell us how much they spend.

I think they are afraid to reveal their spending because so much of it goes on publicity. I’m not actually against this. Nottingham has had a bad press over the years, so we needed to do something to bolster our image and the Council branding works really well for me. But most people would see it as a waste of money, which is why I think the Council haven’t published the data.

The other reason is power. Should we get a Mayor, some members in the Council will lose their power, and they don’t want that. Nobody likes to lose power when they have it.

So, at the moment, I intend to say Yes to having a Mayor. The more say the public have, the better. I just wish Nottingham City Council would stop their hypocrisy.

Adrian