Leader or Mayor? Cllr. Wood explores the choices

Cllr. Andrew Wood (Independent, Canary Wharf) has written a very good summary of the key issues in the governance referendum and we have grabbed his tweet for all to read. We have a feeling that many people dislike both options open to them, Mayoral system or Leader and Cabinet.

Candy floss

The Enquirer agrees with Andrew when he says that whatever the result of the referendum it will make no difference to the underlying problems of our borough.

The governance referendum is just candy floss in our opinion, sweet and fluffy and nice but essentially worthless.

Cllr.Andrew Wood

Our view is that the only reason for the governance referendum is the desire by the current Mayor, John Biggs, to deny Lutfur Rahman the possibility of becoming Mayor again. That’s it.

In any other local authority in the UK the governance referendum would be about fundamentally important political issues, but this is Tower Hamlets and it is all about tribal politics, one man’s desperate desire to dash the hopes of another man.

No directly-elected Mayor in Tower Hamlets

The Enquirer is 100% certain that we need to remove the curse of the directly-elected Mayor from Tower Hamlets. It has to go.

Apologies for this dismal outlook but we owe it to our readers to be honest.

You can read the full file here on Cllr. Woods website. Have a read, it’s a very good guide to the issues.

Leader or Mayor?
I wrote a 5 page summary of the key issues in the governance referendum
I have not decided which way to vote myself so I wrote the guide to help myself think through the issues & choices
I dislike both options & especially the method by which

the choice was made and I fear it will not solve any of the underlying problems in Tower Hamlets, why we continue to underperform on a range of issues
But there is little practical difference between systems except for how elected
Both strong leader models

But one of the key issues are the two different voting systems used;
Electing Mayors – supplementary vote or 2nd preferences included which gives outsiders more of a chance
Electing Councillors – first past the post – which is why Labour with 46% of vote = 93% of Councillors!

Some suggested FAQ’s
What else should I add to this?
The full file is here

Some key dates and contact information
Polling cards are being delivered now (I have two of them)
But if you do not get yours you can register to vote online here by the 19th April

More controversially I added a 6th page with a suggestion as to what to do if you do not like the choices or the method by which these final two options were picked
Which is to write at the very bottom of the ballot a
message, what the Americans call a Write-In as to your

preferred option, for me that was the Committee system (which is what Newham Labour have picked as well)
As long as anything you write is clearly separate from your choice marked by a clear X, that means your ballot paper will still be counted as a valid vote

It has no practical impact but can be used to send a message
Given that we were not allowed to do this process properly via a public debate in advance I see no other way in the next 10 years (when we can next have a referendum) to register what we think

Originally tweeted by Andrew Wood (@Andrewwood17) on April 1, 2021.