Really interesting article on bristolcommentary.uk about how to mayoral system has concentrated power and reduced scrituny in Bristol;
If the mayor’s visibility is the aim, the system has been successful in Bristol: our mayor is all over the world, attending conferences and receiving awards. If democracy is the aim, research clearly suggests that the public now feels less able to influence the political system than before the elected mayor was introduced, i.e. participatory democracy has been reduced
It would seem likely that most Bristolians value their ability to participate in the democratic process more than they value the visibility of their mayor. We should also worry about the closed features of the One City system, and about the ongoing reduction of councillors’ powers of scrutiny, both of which reduce the diversity of views reaching the mayor. We should worry about the unwillingness of our mayor to interact directly with his electors, and the expansion of his public relations apparatus against a background of reduced media budgets, and the lack of fora where open, democratic discussion takes place.
We’d add to the critisism within of Mayor Rees, the flip-floping on climate around the airport expansion.
(Image credit here)