Is the Government joking?

Have your say

WE send 84 councillors to the town hall, each representing the concerns of the people in their area. This is democracy.

Tenants voted overwhelmingly to return to the council running their homes, demonstrating the confidence we have in the council and the lack of confidence in anyone else.

Tenants may have to vote on this for a second time, because if an elected mayor felt that way, the council could lose control of council housing.

The Government asks if we want one person to run the city. Is that a joke?

DH, Manor

I WAS going to vote yes for an elected mayor until I read your article, then I realised arrogant Paul Scriven, who is blind to what we want, could get the job. I changed my mind.

Eddie, Shiregreen

Good reason to choose mayor

Is there a better example of the need for political change in Sheffield than the decision to close the care homes in Wisewood and Jordanthorpe?

Seven thousand people signed a petition against this but our city leaders ignored every one.

We are supposed to live in a democracy but this decision flies in the face of the will of the people. We elect councillors to carry out our wishes. Who do they serve? The people or their political doctrine?

Within the present system they can hide collectively as there is no-one to directly question decisions or hold them to account. An elected mayor would need to provide a robust defence in similar circumstances and would be held directly responsible in the eyes of the voter. I know which system I prefer and will be voting Yes today.

A. Sheldon, Oughtibridge

I was unconvinced

i ATTENDED your debate on an elected mayor fully prepared to listen to all the views. At the beginning a ‘straw poll’ showed that most were not in favour of an elected mayor.

The main thrust of the argument ‘for’ camp, was that of having a direct ambassador for Sheffield and that the city would receive some form of preferential treatment in allocation of funds and resources (as yet unquantified).

Reference was made to London, where Johnson and Livingstone’s high public presence gave them added authority. But it was pointed out that both men were well-known public figures long before their spell as mayor. It was also pointed out that the London mayor’s main responsibility lay in matters of public transport and policing and not in many of the matters of health education and welfare, matters in which a local mayor would be involved.

The political representative made a valid point when he explained that there is no comparison between London and Sheffield sand pointed out that London is made up of 20-plus boroughs, with a collective population of more than 8 million: a nearer comparison was to compare London to the whole of Yorkshire.

The brief for an elected mayor has not yet been spelled out and will only be known after the event, also the terms may in fact vary town to town. There was concern that an elected mayor could block projects which had been discussed in depth by committees, denying the democratic procedure. An example was when 84% of Sheffield council tenants voted to return council housing back to the local authority. Presumably, it would an elected mayor could block such a move. Politicians presented a more reasoned analysis and were more convincing than the ‘pro mayor’ camp.

It’s said there would always be a seat at the PM’s table for elected mayors. If so why not a seat for council leaders?

A final ‘straw poll’ showed a small move toward the ‘for’ group. But I was unconvinced.

Dennis Frost