Will Calderdale ever get a directly elected mayor?

Halifax Town Hall - the seat of power
Halifax Town Hall - the seat of power
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UNLIKE Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield, one thing Calderdale electors won’t be voting for today is the chance for a directly elected mayor.

But they have done so in the past and the result, according to some interpretations, was in support of appointing someone to champion the district and take key council decisions.

Calderdale Council launched what it described as one if its “most widespread consultation exercises” in 2001.

In line with the requirement of the Local Government Act 2000, householders were asked to indicate whether they wanted either a leader and cabinet to run the council, an elected mayor and cabinet or an elected mayor with a council manager.

Nearly 7,000 responded and 42.4 per cent backed the leader and cabinet system, which is used today.

The remaining 57.6 per cent wanted either an elected mayor with a council manager or cabinet support.

Councillors decided the result was inconclusive. They dismissed the idea again in 2009 when the role of the civic head was debated under the ocal Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.

On that occasion, Chief Executive Owen Williams warned that an all-out mayoral election could cost £150,000.

Recent “unelected” mayors of Calderdale have included Nader Fekri, Ann McAllister, Arshad Mahmood and Colin Stout.

l The UK has 16 directly elected mayors and 10 more cities were voting today on whether to hold referenda.