Debate on elected Mayors impossible without the full facts

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From: Michael Cartwright, Glamis Close, Garforth, Leeds.

IN relation to your Editorial (Yorkshire Post, January 26) on elected mayors, it is hardly surprising that there is a void in terms of public debate.

You can hardly castigate local politicians, as you attempt to, for not pushing the issue. How can you have a debate when you don’t know what the terms of reference are? And, while your Editorial has prompted some of our region’s leaders to comment again, earlier expressions by Bradford and Leeds Council leaders, for example, have been fairly unequivocal.

In any case, why must our politicians lead a debate on this? They do, as you say, have bigger fish to fry and will also try to balance leadership with wider community representation.

You can’t have a debate when you don’t know the pros and cons to discuss. The Government has attempted to design and sell what is really a pig in a poke. There is, of course, a desire for stronger and clearer local democracy, autonomy and power as well as concern over the diminished regional voice for Yorkshire due to the abolition of regional development agencies.

This model, however, cannot provide any solutions until we at least know what powers and responsibilities elected mayors would have.

From: Glyn Gibson, Great North Road, Woodlands, Doncaster.

CHRIS Smith is puzzled as to why Wakefield residents are to have an elected mayor (Yorkshire Post, January 30). At least it has long been regarded as a city. We in Doncaster are up to our second mayor and Doncaster is still a town.

These elected mayors are just another expensive addition to local government. Our second mayor for all his good intentions will be remembered for giving punters at Doncaster races a clear view across the course by felling a number of perfectly good trees (at public cost I must add).

From: James Anthony Bulmer, Peel Street, Horbury, Wakefield.

THE people who are elected, as public servants, councillors etc, especially in the cities of West Yorkshire, appear to be far more concerned about the local economy.

Now some of these councillors are putting names forward for the position of mayor of their city. As the public have not yet voted on this subject, one would feel that this is a little previous.

The question at the moment is for David Cameron to disclose what “powers” the mayors will hold, if elected. My question is, will the public be asked to vote for the mayors or will it be left to their political parties? My thoughts about the position of any elected mayor is that he or she should have no political leaning.

If there were to be such elections, would it mean the mayor would hold the public purse and be rewarded for spending, and sometimes wasting, all the borrowed money? And does the position of mayor mean another layer of bureaucracy?

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