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Labour Leader's statement on West of England mayoral authority

Responding to the announcement of a West of England mayoral authority, South Gloucestershire Council’s Labour Group Leader, Councillor Pat Rooney, said:

Pat_Rooney_standard_portrait.jpg“We support the principle of devolving powers and resources down from central government to local decision-makers, but we do believe that South Gloucestershire voters should be given the opportunity to vote on an issue as important as the creation of a West of England mayoral authority.

This authority will include a new and powerful metro mayor, and voters should have a direct say on that. Previous mayoral schemes required approval through a referendum but the Conservative Government has scrapped that requirement, presumably because people might vote the ‘wrong’ way.

The EU referendum on 23rd June provides an ideal opportunity to conduct a proper ballot of voters at marginal extra cost because the polling stations will be open and staffed anyway. I will be arguing for South Gloucestershire Council to run an indicative ballot to coincide with the EU referendum before it approves this West of England mayoral authority.”

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