The Mayor of the County Borough of Wrexham
December 17, 2020 at 5:43 pm #197733
Seems like a few good people on here are in favour of a mayor,can’t really see a problem. I may be mistaken but aren’t the majority of English mayors Labour members.They don’t seem to have a problem with it either.December 17, 2020 at 6:24 pm #197739
The Mayor each year does more for the people of Wrexham County Borough than any other councillor. They are an incredibly cheap way for the council and the Crown to support charitable endeavours across the county, support community initiatives and countless other ways local people are making life locally better and generally bolstering community spirit. People make a lot of noise about the small amount of money spent supporting the mayoralty, while completely ignoring far greater spending in other areas which is not half as effective.
As for electing an executive mayor that would be a recipe for disaster – mayors are great at PR (BoJO, Sadiq Khan) but there is little evidence they achieve more. instead there is a loss of accountability, more petty corruption (Liverpool) and too much political posturing rather than building consensus. It is totally naive to think that one individual can politically represent all the local population, let alone the variety of opinion – it invariably leads to a divided population and a binary zero sum approach to local politics, where you are either a supporter or an opponent. If you have a totalitarian or fascist idea of community then may be an executive mayor suits you, but for those of us who believe in representative liberal democracy, executive mayors and their macho approach to governance needs confining to the dustbin of history.December 17, 2020 at 10:25 pm #197752
I can appreciate the fact that Wrexham were Royalists back in the Civil War but that is ancient history. I think it grossly overestimates now the amount of the general population that really gives any truck to the idea of the Crown having a place in modern day politics in Wrexham.
I’m not entirely sure that the Crown represents anything to do with a representative liberal democracy where the majority of monarchies (a hereditary dynasty kept within a few families) were as you mentioned a totalitarian or fascist idea.
I struggle to see how an executive mayor voted in on a time limited basis by the people of a town in any way shape or form represents the democratic ideals of a totalitarian or fascist representation. The position of that type of office itself is not led to those ideals, it is more a handful of notorious individuals who get way more air time than those who quietly plug along and do a good and decent honest job that give such office a bad name.
Democracy when it is working is quite boring and not newsworthy and gives us the mistake that the most well publicised cases where we see things going wrong – BoJo, Corrupt Scouse Mayor are in fact the norm. This leads to an irrational fear of progress.
In Wrexham at local council level, the party system is broken and therefore backhand deals and “groupings of independents” to gain power is how things work. You butter up your local constituents come election day as an independent and accountable to no-one then you keep getting your job back. It’s perfectly feasible that a handful of Executive Board members could continue to maintain the status quo for another 20 years and keep a Putinesque stranglehold on how Wrexham is ran, with outsiders of this core group of power getting very little chance of having a say so.
We all know, looking at the comments on here and on Twitter and on Facebook that few people are happy with how Wrexham is ran in general, but as things stand (and painfully because of low voter turnout – serves us all right huh?) in the current system there is very little chance of change.
An Executive mayor is just one suggestion of many other avenues to explore to try and push for change. It is perhaps more naive to want to stick to an idea that is broken just because that’s all we know, than to explore other ideas to push our way as you say to a legitimate representative liberal democracy.December 18, 2020 at 9:27 am #197760
There are plenty of ways we could make councils more democratic – we have so far chosen not to. The introduction of the ‘single transferable vote’ in elections for local councils with single member wards or preference votes in multi-member wards would firstly ensure councillors were not elected on a minority vote and secondly allow a wider variety of voices around the table. If we are to persist with the executive approach, then we need stronger scrutiny committees. There needs to be more input from local citizens’ assemblies, local petitions and business forums. I am sure there are many other changes that could improve the current situation. However the idea of vesting all power in one individual is so toxic, it is the one thing that will get me off my arse and start political campaigning. The vesting of power in one individual is too attractive to the very kind of people who are so problematic in politics. we need more team players, more people prepared to listen to alternative views, more people who inspire by holding a hand out, not egomaniacs running amok at our expense. I know there is a tendency to believe in the ‘strong man’ or the tvordy rukh as they describe it in Russia, but it always ends in tears. and it always will.December 18, 2020 at 11:22 am #197761
MacDonalds stopped using Ronald and they haven’t lost custom so lets get rid of the Mayor and the Royal family all in one go and save a fortune!
- STAY AT HOME -December 18, 2020 at 1:19 pm #197771
East Cheshire Council have voted to do away with the Cabinet style Council (Executive Board equivalent) and go back the traditional committee and full council structure which is far more democratic as all members have an imput and vote. Perhaps Wrexham Council should give this change some consideration.December 18, 2020 at 5:49 pm #197822
Well said.I think some of the people replying to this thread have probably found themselves at more than one mayors ball.December 19, 2020 at 6:08 pm #197852
The Mayor represents the Crown? No, he does not, it is the Lord Lieutenant’s role to represent the Queen at events.December 19, 2020 at 10:29 pm #197863
Wow Wrexhamuser I am agreeing with about abolishing of the Executive and give power back to all of the elected Council Members. East Cheshire does however have a Chairman that carry out the same meeting function as the Mayor by chairing Full Council meetings.
You are correct about the Lord Lieutenant being the Queens representativeDecember 19, 2020 at 11:43 pm #197868
Meanwhile….the Local Development Plan for Wrexham County Borough looks set to be rejected again; our secondary schools stumble in and out of special measures more often than politicians change the lockdown rules; no one knows what is happening in adult and children social care, but it is probably in crisis but it has fallen off the radar owing to there being so much to distract us all; and massive budget cuts to local government services are coming down the track, owing to the additional spending required by the lockdowns and the collapse in government tax revenues.
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