‘No Mayor’ for North Devon

Joseph Bulmer

NORTH Devon Council has decided against being run by an elected mayor and continue with the present leader and executive cabinet system.

Members agreed a recommendation to keep a system similar to what is already in place. There will continue to be a leader elected by the council from its members who will then choose a deputy and executive members.

The difference from the current scheme is that the leader is appointed for four years, rather than on an annual basis. The leader also does not now need to put forward their choice of deputy and executive members to council for formal approval.

To meet government legislation the council has to change to either the leader system or the mayoral system. Under the mayoral system an elected mayor and executive members would run the council.

The council invited members of the public to comment on its view that a system similar to the present one should continue rather than change to a mayoral system.

Leader of the council Cllr Des Brailey, says: “The leader and executive system has served the council well over recent years. The consultation found that there was little interest in changing to the mayoral system. I am pleased the council can continue to be run in a way that has proved successful so that we can serve the residents of North Devon to the best of our ability.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats at the council Cllr Brian Greenslade said: “An elected mayoral system is in my view putting too much power in the hands of one person. Therefore, the continuation of the leader and executive cabinet arrangement at the council is the better option for North Devon. However, the council must ensure that appropriate checks and balances are in place to make this model of political management as democratic as possible.”

This new system received cross party support and will begin after the local elections next May.