I have been discussing with Darren Millar, the Shadow Minister for Local Government, the possibility of encouraging Mayoral elections in our large towns and cities in Wales. Notably Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham may wish to consider such a form of governance for their areas.
We are considering the possibility of lowering the threshold required in a referendum for example as a means of opening up the possibility. Where Mayors have been introduced elsewhere they have often been very effective and popular, and I am keen that we should investigate this possibility in Wales. It could open the way for a non-party political mayor with strong local support.
The only referendum that has occurred in Wales, of course, has been in my own area of Ceredigion which is a largely rural area and doesn’t really lend itself to the Mayoral system. The proposal in Ceredigion was roundly defeated; all four major parties in Wales being against the idea.
It may well be very different in our urban areas.