UNISON urges members to vote 'No' to Mayor for Bristol
UNISON, Britain's largest public service union is urging Bristol residents to vote No in the Bristol Mayoral referendum this Thursday. The union believes the additional costs of electing a mayor and running the mayor's office are completely unacceptable when cuts are being made to services. They also believe that the handover of power to one person is fundamentally undemocratic, especially when the decision cannot be reversed and a mayor can only be held to account every four years.
Joanne Kaye, Regional Secretary said:
"We are calling on all our members to get out and vote 'No' in the referendum for a mayor and send a strong message that when services are being cut, we cannot afford hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money to create a new political office for another politician, rather than spending money on services to the people of Bristol.
"The introduction of a Mayor will only benefit those seeking political office and will make no difference to Bristol and will in fact harm local democracy. At the moment, it is far easier to hold a local councillor to account where a handful of votes locally could make a difference. What incentive will a mayor have to listen to local people? Our experience elsewhere shows that mayors become wholly unaccountable to the people and the elected councillors.
"There is a real risk people could sleep walk into a new system by a low turnout, with only those enthusiastic about elections turning out to vote. We call on all those residents who are fed up with the mess politicians so often make and want the real voice of people to be heard to get out and vote No. A new mayor will cost jobs – to create yet another politicians job rather than one which will make a difference to people's lives.
For further information contact:
Joanne Kaye, Regional Secretary, UNISON South West c/o 01823 285318
Issued: Wednesday 2 May 2012