To kickstart the debate on the crucial subject of an elected mayor for Bristol, Bristol Festival of Ideas today launches its first annual Ideas Forum with a day conference on whether an elected mayor would be good for Bristol.
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
Among those confirmed to take part, either as speakers or on one of the discussion panels, include Ken Livingstone, Lord Adonis, Bristol elected mayor campaigner Jaya Chakrabati, council leader Barbara Janke and a range of councillors and MPs.