Make up your mind on mayor

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Have your say

YOU could be forgiven for not noticing, but we are at the start of one of the most important political journeys Sheffield has embarked upon for a generation.

However, that must change. It is too important for anything otherwise.

We are talking about whether Sheffield should have an elected mayor, which will be the topic of a referendum to be held in May.

That will come around sooner than you may think so the urgent need now is for people to be told exactly what this would mean so they can make up their minds in the firm belief that they are reaching the right conclusion.

To that end The Star today comes up with a guide on what the changes would mean, showing how the elected mayoral system of government would differ from the present and how the public would have an involvement in choosing – and rejecting – an elected mayor.

These are important details which we hope you will take the time to study and let us know what else you need to know about the system. We will endeavour to find out.

For it is vitally important that people not only take part in the referendum but that they do so from a position of clear understanding of what is at stake.

It is not a simple matter. For there are strong arguments both for and against having an elected mayor.

And we have to say that we are not completely convinced that the idea of an elected mayor for Sheffield goes far enough. Instead, we believe that the holder ought to have a city region brief to champion the cause of a broader spread of this part of the country.

That would give the holder a major role to play in overcoming local differences which so often get in the way of progress.

However, the big issue at present is whether the city should agree in principle that we should have an elected mayor and that needs two things: to learn about the topic and to make sure you get out and vote.

Howard gives the shirt off his back

YOU can’t help but admire the generosity of World Cup referee Howard Webb. Not only has he donated the shirt he wore at the history-making game to the National Museum of Football, he has also donated his World Cup medal and the MBE he was awarded in the 2011 New Year’s honours.

These are items which most people would hang on to through thick and thin. But Howard has shown that he is a true sportsman in throwing his support behind the new museum, which opens in July and will be dedicated to his favourite sport.