Bradford Council leader ideas receive a tepid response

Read it on the Telegraph and Argus website

By Jo Winrow

Two of the district's MPs have spoken out about their reservations of having a directly-elected mayor in charge of Bradford Council.

A public consultation has been started by the Council to ask people if they favour this model or a leader and cabinet which is similar to the present situation.

Under new Government legislation all councils must adopt one of the two options by the end of the year. Both an elected mayor and leader would serve for four years and make decisions on who is the deputy and select members of the cabinet.

All three political leaders of the main groups on the Council have said they are not in favour of the elected mayor approach.

Keighley MP Ann Cryer said: "I think having an elected mayor is bonkers. Let's keep the Lord Mayor and model of leader of the Council with a cabinet.

"A leader must have the support of the majority of councillors, whereas an elected mayor could be out of touch with everyone else within the Council."

Meanwhile Conservative Shipley MP, Philip Davies, whose father Peter is the elected Mayor of Doncaster, said: "I have got mixed feelings about elected mayors and would be nervous about one for the Bradford district.

"It could have the potential to become quite divisive. An elected mayor would only care about the votes they could muster in the highly-populated areas of Bradford, and places such as Shipley could be ignored.

"It would also depend on there being a right person for the role. I think my dad is doing a really good job in Doncaster, but equally the previous mayor was a disaster."

Bradford North MP Terry Rooney is out of the country. Bradford West MP Marsha Singh and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe were unavailable for comment tonight.

Residents can take part in the consultation and find out more about the two models by logging on to bradford.gov.uk/consultations. The deadline is November 8, and a final decision is expected at the full Council meeting on December 15.