Campaign for Cumbrian Mayor

Campaigners are calling for an overhaul of the way Cumbria County Council is run. The 'Cumbria Yes' campaign is calling for a directly elected mayor to replace the leader of the council, but the County Council says a referendum would be too expensive.

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Campaign for Cumbrian Mayor begins in Windermere

Campaigners are calling for an overhaul of the way Cumbria County Council is run.

The 'Cumbria Yes' campaign is calling for a directly elected mayor to replace the leader of the council.

Fiona Marley Paterson has more:

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Do you want an elected Mayor in Cumbria?

Campaigners in Windermere are calling for a referendum to see if Cumbrians want a directly-elected Mayor running Cumbria County Council, instead of the party leader.

But Cumbria County Council says it can't afford a referendum and this isn't the answer to better democracy in Cumbria.

ITV Border asked people in Troutbeck and Kendal:

Campaign begins for Cumbrian Mayor

Campaigners are calling for an overhaul of the way Cumbria County Council is run.

The 'Cumbria Yes' campaign is calling for a directly elected mayor to replace the leader of the council.

Windermere Cllr Ben Berry (Conservative) is one of the leaders of the campaign:

But Cumbria County Council leaders don't agree. They say a referendum would be too expensive and an elected mayor isn't the answer to better democracy in Cumbria.

"Our efforts are currently focused on making the massive savings needed to balance our books.

"An expensive referendum on how the leader of the council is determined would be an unwelcome and costly distraction and would not address the fundamental issue of having two different sets of councils running things.

"All of our councillors are democratically elected in the same way that MPs are. A far more productive and cost effective reform of local government would involve switching to a unitary council or councils.

"This would actually deliver savings of up to £28m a year. Changing the mechanics of how the leader is decided would save nothing."

– A Cumbria County Council spokesman
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