In the second of our series of elected mayor referendum specials, Nottingham-based Tim Garratt, director at Innes England, gives his view on the much-anticipated referendum on 3rd May and what it could mean for the East Midlands’ capital.
Nottingham is one of the selected cities where there’s a referendum on 3rd May to decide whether to elect a mayor. If the answer is ‘yes’ then the city has a vote in November. A mayor would follow.
The city council got into hot water after spending taxpayers money on a ‘no’ campaign. The leader of the council is fundamentally opposed to the suggestion – principally (I believe) as it will take away some of his power and certainly some of his status.
We have entered a period of small-time politics and spin, in my view. Leaflets delivered talk about the costs (£1m plus) without any detail as to how this is made up! It’s all rather negative.
Nottingham’s private sector is keen to see Nottingham punch above its weight. Inward investment is something close to the property sector’s heart. A mayor could help with this.
Look what Boris Johnson has done for London – he has raised the profile of the capital city.
Nottingham has an opportunity to raise its game. Prime minister David Cameron is offering a place at the table twice a year for a Mayors Cabinet. Can Nottingham (as a core city) afford not to be there?
My problem with all of this is that the debate is being downplayed. The “yes” campaign only started with less than three weeks to go. The campaigning has had little airing which is a great pity.
What are your views on elected mayors? Please feel free to leave your comments below.