This wholesale resistance to the holy grail of elected mayors is a bit of a blow for the "city chatterati" who have, in time-honoured tradition, blamed the government for not communicating the benefits clearly enough. The most common comment is "a missed opportunity". But was it?
Keeping close to matters in Nottingham (as I do) I can confirm that the turnout there was less than a quarter of the electorate. And the most cited bone of contention was one of resourcing; a mayoral office would be an extra expense (although this had been robustly disputed by Mr Pickles) in a city already well-led. The official statement from the City Council on Friday reads: "The outcome means that the council will continue to run as it already was under the leader and cabinet model. Nottingham City Council had agreed a policy position ahead of the referendum that it was opposed to the introduction of an Elected Mayor as it would not represent value for money City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins, has said: 'This was a referendum imposed on us by the Coalition Government which the majority of local people clearly did not agree with. I am pleased with this outcome because an Elected Mayor would have been expensive and unnecessary. This outcome shows that local people recognise we have a system in Nottingham which is working well for them and the city'."
Well.... the proof of the pudding and all that. But based on our own direct experience I would certainly put money on Nottingham cracking on under the General Power of Competence (and any other instrument at their disposal) to prove their credentials as city champion and inward investment magnet.