2nd Dec, 2016

Solihull Tory councillors block Green's plans for referendum on Combined Authority elected mayor

Solihull Editorial 14th Oct, 2015 Updated: 24th Oct, 2016

Conservative borough councillors have slammed Green Party councillors’ hopes to give Solihull residents a say over their future in the WMCA.

At the full Council meeting on Tuesday (October 13) Deputy Leader of the Green Party and councillor for the Shirley West ward, Coun Tim Hodgson, proposed an amendment to the WMCA motion to insist Solihull residents be given a referendum on having an elected mayor.

Coun Hodgson argued that giving residents a say on such an important and contentious issue was ‘a basic principle of democracy .’

The amendment followed the leaked Draft West Midlands Agreement document first obtained by The Observer, that revealed the Authority Shadow Board, which Coun Bob Sleigh is chair of, envisioned the WMCA to be run by an elected metro mayor in order to qualify for the ‘full suite of powers’ offered by Chancellor George Osborne.

Arguing the scenario was not popular, Coun Hodgson proposed the following amendment:

“Should an elected mayor be proposed in the future, this Council commit to holding a referendum in Solihull to ask residents whether or not they would would agree to having an elected mayor, rather than this Council deciding on this issue.”

The amendment was defeated by 30 Conservative councillor votes to 11 votes – of Green Party, UKIP and Independent councillors.