This event is now fully booked. It is being webcast by Bristol City Council: see www.bristol.gov.uk/electedmayor for details. If you wish to contribute to the debate use twitter hashtag: #bristolmayor. The final programme and timetable can be viewed as a PDF here.
With a referendum likely in May 2012, Bristol Festival of Ideas launches its first annual Ideas Forum with a day conference on whether an elected mayor would be good for Bristol. An elected mayor would potentially be the biggest change to running and managing the city since local government reorganisation in the mid-1990s. But would this help to deliver the vision and leadership needed for the future Bristol? Have elected mayors worked elsewhere? Is restricting a mayor’s powers to within the Bristol local authority boundary the best way to contribute to regional development? And would other forms of reorganisation offer better management and leadership?
Issues to be discussed include:
• What elected mayors could offer and what would be the downsides.
• The visions for future Bristol and the best means of delivering these.
• The powers required to deliver what the city needs and whether these are met by the current system.
• The leadership qualities needed to deliver the future Bristol and whether these could be better met by an elected mayor or by the current structure.
• Whether the current system should be revised (four-yearly all-out elections, for example) instead of electing a mayor.
• How mayors have operated in London and other places.
• The financial powers that are needed for an effective elected mayor and whether these will be available.
• Whether in the longer term an elected mayor should have an extended, regional remit, rather than just within the Bristol unitary area, to have the most beneficial impact.
These questions and more will be addressed through keynote presentations, panels and audience debate. Current confirmed speakers are:
Councillor Peter Abraham, Leader of Conservative Group, councillor’s panel
Lord Andrew Adonis, Institute for Government on the Future Leadership Needs of the City
Joanna Averley, Director, Centre for Cities on Elected Mayors and Economic Development
Marti Burgess, business and community panel
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, on How Mayors Work in London
Jaya Chakrabati, Nameless and Campaign for Bristol Mayor, business and community panel
Councillor Tess Green, Leader of Green Group, councillor’s panel
Professor Robin Hambleton, University of the West of England on Place-based Leadership in a Globalising World
Councillor Peter Hammond, Leader of Labour Group, councillor’s panel
Councillor Barbara Janke, Leader of Bristol Liberal Democrats and Bristol City Council, councillor’s panel
Charlotte Leslie MP, MPs panel
Ken Livingstone on the Difference a Mayor can Make
Kerry McCarthy MP, MPs panel
Ben Rogers, Centre for London on London Mayors and the Development of the City
Colin Skellett, Wessex Water, business and community panel
Stephen Williams MP, MPs panel
Programme and Final Timetable
The final programme and timetable can be viewed as a PDF here.
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