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Our Say.

TODAY it is time for YOU, the people of Birmingham, to have YOUR say about how this great city should be governed.

The Big Debate that takes place at the Council House at 6pm offers the chance to the men and women of Birmingham to hear - and take part in - arguments for and against the idea of an elected mayor.

It promises to be a lively and stimulating debate, with the Mayor of Middlesbrough Ray Mallon explaining how an elected mayor has worked in his town and Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood opposing the system.

And after the words comes to chance the vote on the issue. First whether Birmingham would be better run by an elected mayor. Then whether its citizens should be given the chance to decide on having such a system of local government with a full referendum.

Why now? Why do we need a debate at all?

Well, the Birmingham Mail is committed to playing a full and active role in the local community.

We believe this city's ordinary men and women have the right to make informed decisions on important issues.

And we became mightily fed up that Birmingham's movers and shakers - both those who oppose the idea of an elected mayor and those who support the proposal -were denying people a proper chance to air their views.

Do not under-estimate the importance of this issue. More than any other it could help shape Birmingham's direction for generations to come.

Turn up in your droves tonight. Have your say. Take part in the vote.

As the writer and thinker GK Chesterton once wrote: "The people of England have not spoken yet."

Tonight provides the chance for you, the people of Birmingham, to speak loud and clear.

Seize the opportunity.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 14, 2007
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