Wakefield votes ‘No’ to directly elected mayor

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VOTERS have said no to having a directly elected mayor for the city.

A total of 45, 386 people voted against the decision preferring to stick with the current system of having the leader of Wakefield Council chosen by other elected councillors.

A total of 27, 610 voters were in favour of having a directly elected mayor.

Council leader Coun Peter Box said: “Clearly the people of Wakefield have come out in favour of the existing system. This shows people have confidence that we have got a strong Labour council and they do not want change.

“It is quite clear the costs were an issue as was the fact that the powers of any mayor were not known.”

The government called for the referendum earlier this year arguing that directly elected mayors would improve democracy, bring visible leadership to major cities and attract investment.

But some politicians councillors criticised the system saying the costs could not be justified in the current economic climate.