Elected Mayor: The Pros and The Cons

Midland Hotel – Monday 30th April at 19:00 – 21:00

Renewing Democracy – Professor Wyn Grant

Following the debate on the pros and cons of the elected Mayor system for Bradford, Wyn Grant, Chair of Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors shares his observations of the event.

There are many signs that British democracy is in a worse state than it has been for some time.  Following the expenses scandal and the revelations about overly close links between politicians and the media, levels of trust in politicians and the political process have fallen.   Voter turnout has been on a downward trend in general elections for some time, quite apart from serious problems with voter registration, not least in Bradford.   Turnout in local elections is well below the average for an advanced industrial democracy.  Citizens have become disengaged and that is not good for democracy.

At the debate on elected mayors held in Bradford last night, I heard about some of the challenges that Bradford is facing.   People are upset about the decline of the city centre and when I saw the large hole, which is supposed to contain a retail park this morning, I could see what a blot it was.  The whole country faces challenges of youth unemployment, but these are particularly serious in Bradford. There are also problems of higher than average rates of child mortality and lower than average levels of educational attainment. Often these problems particularly affect BME groups.

Please click here to read his whole statement: Renewing Democracy