Petitioning for an elected Mayor
You can petition your council to hold a referendum on whether local people should elect a mayor to lead the council and the community it serves.
What is our current arrangement?
For each local authority there is an executive - a group of people who are in charge of what the Council does. Depending on the local arrangements, the executive is organised in one of three ways:
- a directly elected mayor and a cabinet of councillors; or
- a leader elected by the council and a cabinet of councillors; or
- a directly elected mayor and a council manager appointed by the council.
In Waveney, we follow the second option of a leader elected by the council, and a cabinet of councillors.
What is a directly elected mayor?
A directly elected mayor is elected by all the voters in the council's area to be the head of the council's decision-making body.
A directly elected mayor should not be confused with a ceremonial mayor. In many local authority areas a ceremonial mayor represents the area. In Waveney we have a ceremonial mayor for the Lowestoft area.
Why is a referendum necessary?
The introduction of a directly elected mayor is a significant constitutional change and so a vote is held to give all voters in the area the chance to choose if they would want this happen.
In order to call a referendum for a directly elected mayor, a petition must be compiled which is signed by 5% of the number of local government electors that are shown in the current Register of Electors. This 5% figure is called the 'verification figure' and is published annually as a formal notice.
Further information about mayoral petitions can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website.