Bristol referendum result: mayoral system to be abolished


By Megan Evans, News Editor

Bristol votes to replace the current mayoral system in favour of a committee system, which will take over in 2024.

The city of Bristol has voted to abolish the position of mayor.

Results from yesterday’s referendum show that the mayoral position, currently held by Labour mayor Marvin Rees, will be replaced by a committee system of governance from 2024.

In an electoral turnout of 29%, 56,113 people voted to scrap the mayoral post, while 38,4939 voted to maintain the current system. This equates to roughly 59% of voters choosing to scrap the mayor.

The Bristol mayoral system was first established in 2012 with independent mayor George Ferguson. Rees was later elected as a Labour mayor in the 2016 mayoral election. The next referendum will be in another decade, meaning the new committee system will be in place for at least the next ten years.

Speaking after the result was announced at 03:30 this morning, Mary Page, co-founder of the ‘Scrap the Mayor’ campaign, stated that ‘The committee system will allow more people to be involved, to be engaged in democracy.’

Rees, however, stated, ‘I think the committee system is a very poor system.

‘I hope I am wrong, because certainly the city faces all these challenges, and the city needs a leadership that can lead it in the face of the challenges and opportunities.’

Bristol City Council has stated that the result will likely be ratified at an Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council on 24 May.

Over the next two years, until the end of Rees’ term, work will be carried out to transition the local authority to a system of committees of councillors for areas such as housing, transport, and social care services. Committees will take over the decision-making in these sectors that was previously headed by the mayor and a cabinet.

Featured Image: Bristol City Council|Epigram/Canva

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