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Darlington says "no" to Elected Mayor

In Darlington the result of the referendum for an elected Mayor was:
No - 11,226 (58.4%)
Yes - 7,981 (41.6%)
Turnout was 24.7%
The proposal to have an elected mayor is therefore lost.

In Birmingham there is some effort to get a petition for an "elected Mayor". Of those campaigning for the petition not everyone wants the "elected Mayor".

In the mean time the BBC are having a real go at James Purnell about a photoshopped photo. I cannot bring myself to be bothered really. Yes he is a Labour Minister, but having a go about something trivial that he does not seem to be responsible for is a waste of air time.


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Standards Board and Ken Livingstone

The link is to the case where Ken Livingstone appealed the decision of the Adjudication Panel for England. The Standards Board and associated Adjudication Panel have done a lot of damage to democracy in the UK. The courts are, however, bringing them into more sanity. The point about Ken Livingstone's case is that it was high profile and he also could afford to appeal. The Standard Board has a problem in that those subject to its enquiries face substantial costs that they cannot claim back. This is an issue that needs further work. In essence the Judge found that what he said brought him into disrepute, but not the office of Mayor. We do need the machinery of the SBE and APE to concentrate on things that matter rather than people being rude to each other.