Liberal Democrat warning to Labour over elected Mayor

Liberal Democrats have warned Haringey Council to ensure the public has the fullest possible say over the how the council is run, as Haringey embarks on a major consultation on whether the failing Labour Council should move towards an elected mayor in time for 2010.

The move comes after a stormy meeting at Haringey Council last week, when it became clear that Labour has not planned for a local referendum on the issue, should local residents demand it in the run up to local elections in 2010.

Councils are now under pressure from the Labour government to consult on the issue. Liberal Democrats say they are concerned that Haringey Labour is also paving the way to ignore the views of local residents should they want the change for 2010.

Liberal Democrat councillor Neil Williams comments:

“We have yet to be persuaded of the case for an elected mayor, but we need the fullest possible consultation so that we can engage in debate with local people, as we need to hear what they think.

“That means abiding by the outcome of any consultation, and embracing the concept of a borough-wide referendum on an elected Mayor if that is what local people want. What mustn’t happen is Labour pulling a fast one on the consultation results, and ignoring the outcome. If that happens, there will be enormous trouble ahead.”