Newcastle Needs a New Kind of Council Leader

Newcastle Needs a New Kind of Council Leader

On the day that Salford voters were given the opportunity to have their say on the creation of an elected mayor, the Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party reaffirmed its commitment to an elected mayor for Newcastle.

Newcastle’s only independent party will be campaigning alongside the yes campaign for an elected mayor. Newcastle First argues that an elected mayor will give every voter in Newcastle an opportunity to elect the leader of the council rather than a handful of councillors from the ruling political group.

Party leader Jason Smith - who is a long time supporter of an elected mayor for Newcastle - has expressed surprise that the Leader of the Lib Dems in Newcastle has chosen to campaign against the proposal which will give every voter a say about who runs the city.

Jason Smith said: “Every voter in London will have a choice about whether Boris or Ken or some other person will run their city and they are able to throw out a leader if they think he or she is failing. Currently in Newcastle, the leader of the council owes his allegiance to  45 Labour councillors and the voters of a single ward but, as we have seen in London, an elected mayor would be accountable to the whole city.

“Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors are afraid that a yes vote will end the 30-year domination of the politician councillors. Lib Dems claim to be in favour of proportional representation but are now opposing a proportional system for electing the council’s most senior leader.

“Newcastle needs new leadership. An Elected Mayor of Newcastle will have a powerful mandate to bring change to our city because they will have been given the post by everyone in the city.”

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