Should Cardiff elect its own Lord Mayor? Capital should vote for leader, says ex-town hall chief.Byline: David James David James may refer to:
A CALL has been made to bring future city elections to life by creating a London-style elected mayor for Wales' capital city.
The future of Wales' 22 local authorities was yesterday thrown into doubt by Local Government Minister Dr Brian Gibbons who threatened to shake up the system if services do not improve.
And an outspoken former South Wales South Wales south n → sud m du Pays de Galles council chief urged Dr Gibbons to use the opportunity to create a greater Cardiff region with an elected Mayor responsible directly to the people.
Former Bridgend leader Jeff Jones There are several notable people named Jeff Jones, including:
He said: "Almost every other major city in Europe has an elected leader.
"EU cities need vision and leadership. They also need accountability.
My view is that Cardiff needs, as it is a capital city, someone who is directly elected by the people of Cardiff and who is held to account by those people."
Mr Jones said a larger city authority could include parts of the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taff
He also said it would attract a higher quality of politician and make the contest more interesting.
He said: "We should be able to ask: 'What's your vision for Cardiff?' "People might think I am going to vote for 'party x' or 'party y' because I liked what he said in the Echo but then they find out that after the election that person is not even leader any more."
And he said the political parties should not worry about voters wanting to elect a celebrity mayor rather than an established politician.
He said: "That's democracy."
Cardiff's Liberal Democrat council leader Rodney Berman today rejected Mr Jones' call for an elected mayor.
He said: "The last thing we want is to give too much power to one person. We had that with Russell Goodway. There's no pressure to return to that sort of system."
The issue of shaking up Wales' system of 22 local authorities, which was created from the ashes of the old county council system in 1996, was raised by Dr Gibbons yesterday.
He has called on councils to work more closely together or face a possible restructuring.
FAMOUS ELECTED MAYORS
London has had an elected mayor since Ken Livingstone was elected in 2000. The mayor's responsibilities include transport, the police, fire and emergency services emergency services Emergency care '…services …necessary to prevent death or serious impairment of health and, because of the danger to life or health, require the use of the most accessible hospital available and equipped to furnish those services' , cultural strategy and economic development.
Hartlepool elected H'Angus the Monkey as the town's mayor in May 2002. H'Angus, also known as Stuart Drummond, was the town's football team mascot and won with the slogan: "Free bananas for schoolchildren."
France's former President Jacques Chirac was once mayor of Paris.
His successor as president, Nicolas Sarkozy, had also served as mayor of the chic Parisian suburb of Neuilly sur Seine.
In 1986, Clint Eastwood wanted to build a small building in downtown Carmel, California, but was prevented by town's bureaucratic government.
So he ran for mayor, winning 72% of the vote.
CIVIC FATHER: Russell Goodway, when Cardiff council leader, also became the Lord Mayor of the city, a departure from tradition