Ben Howlett, Member of Parliament for Bath, last week asked a question to the Leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling, about the concerns of a BANES Elected Mayor in Parliament.
Ben asked the Leader of the Commons: “In other referendum news, I know that the Leader of the House will be paying close attention to the outcome of the referendum on the Mayor of Bath and North East Somerset, which is coming up on 10 March.
“It is opposed by me and my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset, as well as by pretty much every other local party.
“Will my right hon. Friend join me in opposing a Mayor for Bath and North East Somerset, and consider having a debate in Government time on its huge cost and its impact on reducing democratic accountability?”
Mr . Grayling responded: “I am sure that I could not do a better job of influencing the people of Bath and Somerset than my hon. Friend, so I will leave it to him to make that case.”
Upon leaving the Chamber, Ben commented: “Next week the people of BANES face an important decision that could have a serious and detrimental impact for local government and democracy.
“Elected mayors drive up an already inflated cost of politics and are far less accountable than the current Council Leader and Cabinet Model.
“Elected mayors might work for large metropolitan centres like Bristol, but it is simply inappropriate for somewhere as geographically diverse as BANES.”
“Following on from the advice of the Leader of the Commons, I will continue to make the case to my constituents that an elected mayor is not right for BANES.”