Your invitation to debate in Sheffield

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IT’S one of the biggest decisions Sheffield residents will have to make – and will have a huge impact on the way the city is run.

Now The Star is giving you the chance to join a Question Time-style debate about whether the city should have an elected mayor.

The event is being held on Monday, from 6.30pm, at Sheffield Hallam University’s the Cantor Lecture Theatre, in the Cantor Building, Arundel Street. Panellists are to include council leader Julie Dore, who is opposed to elected mayors, and Kevin Meagher, chairman of the Mayor4Sheffield campaign.

Voters will asked at a referendum on Thursday to make the choice between keeping the current system where they elect councillors who then choose a leader and cabinet members, or to have a directly-elected mayor to run the council.

Jeremy Clifford, Editor of The Star, said: “The decision is one of the biggest that Sheffield residents will be asked to make in generations, and could have a huge impact on the way our city is governed.

“We are inviting members of the public to come along to the debate so they can hear the opinions for and against.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has said elected mayors would have regular meetings with him and be in charge of a range of extra powers being devolved to councils from the Government.

Kevin Meagher, chairman of the Mayor4Sheffield campaign, says the ‘need for a strong champion to fight the city’s corner in Whitehall is absolutely vital’ – not only for dealing with new responsibilities but also plans such as regional pay-bargaining for teachers and NHS staff.

■ We want you to register for a chance to be part of the audience, for an opportunity to ask direct questions of those for and against an elected mayor in Sheffield.

Fifty readers and a guest each will be invited to the event. For your chance to take part, email us – with Elected Mayor Debate in the subject field – at staronline@sheffieldnewspapers.co.uk

Include your full name, age, occupation, address, landline and mobile number.

We will contact successful applicants.