Should Bristol have an elected Mayor?

by AMayorforbristol?
on Tuesday 21 Feb 2012

type: Event Notice
topic: Local Government
region: Bristol
event time: Wednesday 22 Feb 2012 18:30

The Council House, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

Bristolians will be asked to vote for or against the idea of a directly elected Mayor in May 2012, in a local referendum proposed in the Government’s Localism Bill. Replacing the present Councillors plus Cabinet system in the City Council with a directly elected Mayor would represent the biggest upheaval to local democracy since the dissolution of Avon County Council.

But would it be change for the better?

  • What problems would an elected Mayor solve?
  • What would reorganising the Council cost?
  • Would an elected Mayor ensure stronger leadership and better management of the city?
  • Would a Mayor and local assembly enhance or damage local democracy?
  • Is there enough scope for a Bristol Mayor to make a difference, without more influence on surrounding councils, or more power to raise and spend revenues?
  • Should mayoral candidates be party politicians, or independents?
  • How long should Mayors and Councillors serve between elections?
  • Would a Mayor make Bristol greater?

The debate will feature voices from both sides, for and against a directly elected mayor, in the Conference Hall of Bristol City Council. Join Professor Alex Marsh from the University of Bristol School for Policy Studies and panellists chaired by Bristol-based broadcaster Chris Serle to debate the issues for and against a directly elected mayor. Panellists include:

  • Mark Weston, Conservative councillor for Henbury and Deputy Leader of the Bristol Conservative Party
  • George Ferguson CBE, owner and founder of Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre, and Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Deborah Hallett, strategy consultant and recent adviser to the London Development Agency
  • Barbara Janke, Liberal Democrat leader of Bristol City Council

Doors open at 6.30 pm and the event begins at 7 pm. This event is free but, but booking is required; please visit: For further information or to submit a question, please contact Amanda Edmondson by or tel: +44 (0)117 33 18313. Please submit your question together with:

  • your full name
  • email address
  • phone number
  • home postcode