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To: Bristol City Council and the Mayor of Bristol

We need a full council debate about Bristol’s elected mayor system

We need a full council debate about Bristol’s elected mayor system

We, the undersigned, request a full council debate to outline the benefits and disadvantages of the elected mayor system in Bristol, and to consider the different options available for the governance of Bristol.

Why is this important?

Why do we need a debate?
Since Bristol changed to the elected mayor system, concerns have been raised that it is less democratic than the previous system and too much power is given to one person - the elected mayor. Despite these concerns, there has been very little discussion about the other types of governance available and options for change.

We need more information, and we need to have a citywide discussion about the pros and cons of different systems. The Centre for Governance and Scrutiny has produced several documents for councillors, council officers, and others interested in local governance issues. See, for example,

Please note, this is not a petition to scrap the elected mayor system or to call for a referendum. It is a petition requesting a full and frank debate about the elected mayor system and other models of local government. The debate may lead to calls for change or may reinforce Bristol’s decision to adopt the elected mayor system

What if people want change?
This petition will not change the system, but it may help people decide if they would like a referendum. If there was a referendum, the people of Bristol could decide whether to keep the elected mayor model or change to another system of governance. There needs to be a gap of 10 years since the last referendum in 2012, so the next opportunity is in May 2022.

There are two ways that Bristol could trigger a referendum:
• A vote in favour of a referendum at full council
• A petition signed by a minimum of 5% of the electorate

A referendum must offer a choice between the current elected mayor model and one other form of governance. In Bristol that would mean offering a choice between (a) the elected mayor and cabinet model, and: either (b) the leader and cabinet model, or (c) the committee model.

To make that decision, people need to know more about the benefits and disadvantages of the different options available.

Bristol, UK

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2021-02-12 10:38:07 +0000

50 signatures reached

2021-02-08 00:01:42 +0000

25 signatures reached

2021-01-27 15:33:50 +0000

10 signatures reached