I can’t make up my mayoral mind

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ALL of a sudden the tempo has picked up over whether Sheffield should have an elected mayor.

Both sides have come out - the Yes camp, and the No camp. And aren’t they persuasive?

I honestly don’t know which way to vote.

On the one hand I am told that a mayor will be the next best thing we can expect to having a Sheffield Superman rush to the city’s rescue.

He – or she – will have pretty much a free hand to do as he or she – pleases.

That will free the elected mayor from having to toe any party or doctrinal line.

All that will matter is what is best for Sheffield and the people who live here.

So far so good.

But then I am told, equally persuasively, that everything the Yes camp claims to be good for Sheffield is actually bad for Sheffield.

You see one man – or woman – with so much power represents a bad day for democracy.

The duly elected councillors who have so much contact with us would be emasculated within the town hall, we are told.

They would be powerless in the face of such an omnipotent elected mayor.

He – or she – would sweep aside all representations made by these men – or women – of the people and do just as he – or she – wishes.

So you can see why I am confused. Good is bad while bad is good.

In fact my confusion and indecisiveness goes deeper and further.

And it all comes down to personalities: the personalities of the person who would be elected mayor and that of the councillors who claim to represent me.

As seems befitting with this confusing situation, I will deal with the latter first.

You see, I can’t remember my local councillor ever actually representing me. In any shape or manner. Ever.

I rarely even get a leaflet from them let alone a person-to-person chance to seek my views on what I want in the area where I live. Nobody has ever asked me what I think should be the priorities to focus the political will of my district.

So you can forgive me for thinking that it might be not such a bad thing for these councillors to be put in their place – particularly when they make such outrageous claims as to suggest that they represent me.

And as for an elected mayor, I am all for seeing a strong-willed and able politician take this city by the scruff of the neck and push it in the direction that it needs to be going ... any direction.

For over the years I have witnessed our leaders pursue so many different initiatives and plans that I am simply confused about what Sheffield is meant to stand for any more.

But. And this is the BIG BUT. But, where do we find such a leader?

Forgive me for being presumptuous but the political horizon in Sheffield is rather shallow on the talent front.

And yet I am asked to vote in favour of an all-reaching, all-ruling elected mayor when the chances are we will be lumbered with one of the lightweights who currently hog the political limelight.

It’s time to put the cart before the horse.

Show me who would stand for mayor and then I will be in a position to decide whether I want one or not.