Mayor vote - government to pick up bill

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THE Government has agreed to fund the cost of a referendum on whether Sheffield should have an elected mayor, after pressure from the city’s main political parties.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has agreed to fund the cost, which could be as much has £245,000, after lobbying from councillors.

Lib Dem opposition leader, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, said: “We have been using all our contacts and influence in Westminster to try to ensure the Government sees our way on this issue. I’m delighted that our work has paid off and that local taxpayers won’t be left with the bill for the referendum.

“This just goes to show what can be achieved if we work constructively with the Government.”

The Government has not revealed whether it will cover the further bill if residents support having an elected mayor and an election is held, which could cost £600,000.

Ruling Labour councillors hope to minimise the cost of a referendum by holding it at the same time as local elections, as early as next May.