Bristol votes to scrap directly elected mayor

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Voters in Bristol have voted to scrap their elected mayor position in a referendum on the way the city is run.

The referendum was held 10 years after Bristol switched to a mayor and cabinet model of local governance.

In the vote 56,113 people opted for a committee system, with 38,439 preferring to continue with an elected mayor, on a turnout of 28.6%.

The result is likely to be ratified at an extraordinary meeting of the full council on May 24.



The mayoral model has proven a disaster for Bristol – too much power at the whim of one individual

Mark Weston

Labour’s Marvin Rees will continue as Bristol’s mayor until May 2024, when the new system will start.

The referendum was held after Liberal Democrat councillors proposed a motion at the council to have a vote, which was seconded by the Green Party.

Opposition councillors welcomed the decision to scrap the post.

Heather Mack, leader of the Green Party group, said: “For many years now, important decisions affecting the whole of our city have been made behind closed doors by just one person whom the public and elected councillors cannot easily challenge.”

Mark Weston, leader of the Conservative group, added: “The mayoral model has proven a disaster for Bristol – too much power at the whim of one individual.

“The public have rejected this unaccountable model of government. We now need all parties to work together to bring in a more conciliatory form of politics to Bristol.”

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