It's not Salford Council's fault – the Government has forced local authorities to review the way they are governed by next May. So there's a consultation running until Friday, November 6th with only two options available…
Option 1: An elected Mayor and Cabinet
Option 2: A `new style' Leader and Cabinet Executive.
The Mayor option is more expensive because someone has to pay for him/her/it, and you can't get rid of him/her/it for four years. The Leader option means more power for the Leader, who can, in theory, be removed at any time by the full council. The full details are available here
The Salford Star never tells anyone how to think or vote so we're not recommending either option – but we would like to see an Option 3: Real democracy; that no one person has Stalin-style power to rule Salford, and where real power is put back in the hands of the community.
Unfortunately Option 3 isn't on the list. But we did vote for it on the comments bit of the online voting form – five times – just to show how the consultation can be rigged by vested interests. Iraq and Afghanistan have got nothing on Salford.
Meanwhile, residents like Joyce Fitzpatrick from Langworthy would like to see more of a song and dance made out of the whole consultation…
"I just wanted to say how disappointed I am to see this filed away under `consultations' on the salford.gov website" she writes "I note that the closing date is 6th Nov....what happens then? Not much of a consultation if you don't know about it in the first instance...is it? Is there any chance that any of our councillors might want to rise to the challenge and convince us that either option is preferable?"
Pssst…vote for Option 3, you know it makes sense!!!