Residents voted a resounding no to Great Yarmouth having the region’s first elected mayor with executive powers.

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Louds cheers from people sporting both blue and red rosettes rang round Yarmouth Town Hall this afternoon as returning officer Richard Packham announced the results of the referendum: 15,595 no votes to 10,051 yes votes with 291 spoiled ballot papers.

Borough mayor Michael Jeal was prominent among those clapping the decisive rejection of an elected mayor, a change that would have seen the ceremonial position held by him disappear.

Michael Castle, who has led the campaign for an elected mayor, which started with the raising of a 3,500-signature petition to trigger the referendum, described the 10,000 yes votes as a “creditable total”.

He said: “I still think bringing in an elected mayor is the way forward to reinvigorate local politics and the low turnout in this election demonstrates the need for that.

“Although both local parties were opposed to it, nationally, Labour introduced elected mayors and the Tories are pressing ahead with introducing them in other towns and cities.”

He said he was confident the system would have worked well in Yarmouth.

Outgoing council leader Barry Coleman, selected to become the next ceremonial mayor later this month, had led the campaign for a no vote.

He had highlighted the cost of the elected mayor’s salary - at least £50,000 - and the expense of holding a referendum and any future mayoral election at a time of economic hardship.

He had also said the loss of the ceremonial mayor’s position, with its tradition and role in promoting charities and the work of voluntary groups, would have been a terrible shame.

Following today’s verdict, he said: “I am absolutely delighted with the result which shows the importance people attach to the town’s heritage and history.

“It rules out any prospect of an elected mayor for a long period of time - I am more than delighted that I won’t now be the last ceremonial mayor.”

Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: “I am not surprised by the result because I have struggled to find anyone who wants an elected mayor.

“This lets the council focus on doing the job rather than focusing on an ego trip for a couple of people.”

11 comments

  • Thats another £200,000-00 a year jobsworth not needed or wanted.

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    NR4

    Friday, May 6, 2011

  • Well done the voters of Gt Yarmouth.

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    City Boy

    Friday, May 6, 2011

  • I hope, Castle, we the people have heard the last of this !

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    Karl Hunter

    Friday, May 6, 2011

  • Was there not a faint whiff of the Granitas restaurant connivance between Blair and Brown (I'll do it for a few years, then it's your turn)? Look where that landed us! We do not need a town "boss", and the town has delivered the CastleWainwright upstarts a total denial of their ridiculous plot.

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    Kaitch

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

  • Well Cllr Castle, I hope you are satisfied with how you have instigated a total waste of the councils desperately needed financial resources by wasting 10's of thousands of pounds at a time when GYBC are trying to cut costs without cutting services? One must assume that your time as Leader of the Labour group must be about to end,

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    Mike Butcher

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

  • After years at the forefront of local polotics Mr Castle has had his high profile campaign shot to pices by the local electorate. May be its time for him to let someone younger take his seat on the council to help "Re-invigorate Local Polotics" as he has said!!! Thanks to all that saw sense and voted against it!

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    bloater&proud

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

  • Well Cllr Castle, I hope you are satisfied with how you have instigated a total waste of the councils desperately needed financial resources by wasting 10's of thousands of pounds at a time when GYBC are trying to cut costs without cutting services? One must assume that your time as Leader of the Labour group must be about to end,

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    Mike Butcher

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

  • "Following today’s verdict, he said: “I am absolutely delighted with the result which shows the importance people attach to the town’s heritage and history. " As long as the Jetty is not included as part of the town's heritage and history so it seems. :-)

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    boom

    Friday, May 6, 2011

  • Great words from our MP and he is quite right this was not about breathing life into local politics this vote was brought about by a very suspicious petition and the chance for some to get the chance to obtain a position of power, our town is on its knees and we all need to pull together to create a partnership that will inject life back into it, now enough Mr Castle and lets all stop this stupidity and get the old lady they call Great Yarmouth back on her feet after all is that not we all want?

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    NorfolknProud

    Friday, May 6, 2011

  • Great result for the town, now maybe Mr Castle and Co. might get the message and start to understand they represent us the voter's and not the reverse. Also sorry Mr Peek no doubt you had your hat ready to throw into the ring !

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    dazza1420

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

  • I hope, Castle, we the people have heard the last of this !

    Report this comment

    Karl Hunter

    Friday, May 6, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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