In the debate around the pros and cons of a directly elected Mayor for Bath and North East Somerset, little has been said about the benefits of the existing system.
It has been said that “when faced with a hard problem, a diverse team gets better results”.
This is because a group of people with different perspectives – drawn from their different backgrounds – can come up with different ideas and strategies to approach the problem.
At least with the current system of collective decision-making, by a Cabinet of about 8 people, there is a good chance of a variety of points of view being heard.
B&NES Cabinets have usually managed to include some Councillors from Bath and some from North East Somerset, some men and some women, some variety in ages and backgrounds.
What we need is more diversity in our decision-making team, not less. Whatever checks and balances are in place, under a Mayoral system, the ultimate decision-making buck stops with one person.
One person cannot possibly have in depth understanding of every part of our area and every one of the 700+ services the Council provides.