Should Cardiff have a directly elected Mayor?

August 21, 2010 15 Comments »
rodney berman

Rodney Berman insists Cardiff doesn't need an elected mayor

The debate is hotting up over whether Cardiff should have a directly elected mayor as Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman says the city does not need one.

In an interview with WalesOnline, Mr Berman argues the city already has leadership and he has overseen projects such as the wholesale modernisation of Cardiff’s Central Square, the creation of a convention centre to boost the city’s economy and the continued development of the International Sports Village.

Mr Berman has faced criticism from Cardiff North MP Jonathan Morgan and former Labour council leader Russell Goodway about the vision and direction of Cardiff Council.

Jonathan Morgan started the debate about a directly elected mayor in a blog post on the Cardiff East blog and since then the debate has continued over whether Cardiff needs one.

Since Morgan’s first post two weeks ago we’ve seen former BBC journalist Guto Harri and aide to Boris Johnson back the idea of a mayor and chair of Cardiff’s Civic Society Peter Cox has come out fighting for a directly-elected official.

Giovanni Malacrino, Grangetown born and restaurant owner, has thrown his hat into the ring if there was to be a contest.

A poll on WalesOnline currently suggests that 65 per cent of people are against the idea of a mayor for Cardiff.

The social media world has also been abuzz with comments about the idea, with a Twitter account appearing saying if it gets 1,000 followers a campaign will be started to trigger a referendum on the issue. A Facebook group has also been started about getting a mayor for Cardiff.

What do you think about the idea of an elected mayor for Cardiff? Do you think Berman is doing a good job? Does Cardiff have the leadership and vision it needs? Let us know your views in the comments below

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15 Comments

  1. @mikecrid August 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I have always believed that Cardiff could benefit from having a directly elected mayor, in fact I wrote a letter to the Echo a couple of years ago about it. For me (at that time)its not an issue driven by criticism of the present administration . However because I think its a good idea (or Jonathan Morgan etc) does not mean that the people of Cardiff believe it. There has to be a city wide debate (public meetings) about how Cardiff is governed. The debate cannot be framed on partisan grounds (which it looks like from those are calling for it) In other words used as a way of protesting the current administration, that will doom it to failure. It has to get beyond the blogs twitter etc.

  2. Richard August 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Jonathan Morgan is the Conservative AM for Cardiff North not the MP, Jonathan Evans is the Conservative MP for Cardiff North not Morgan.

  3. @mikecrid August 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    It should not be about Rodney Berman or criticism of his current administration. It should be about what is best for Cardiff. there needs to be city wide public meetings to see what the people want, and not just the talking (myself including) on the blogosphere. This could be organised by the Echo? I have always believed that an elected mayor who was under proper scrutiny by a vigilant council would be good for Cardiff. The old system could be just as corrupt when one party ran Cardiff. It would be a good opportunity to take the party politics out of local government (tribalism)

  4. @mikecrid August 22, 2010 at 12:58 am - Reply

    It should not be about Rodney Berman or criticism of his current administration. It should be about what is best for Cardiff. there needs to be city wide public meetings to see what the people want, and not just the talking (myself including) on the blogosphere. This could be organised by the Echo? I have always believed that an elected mayor who was under proper scrutiny by a vigilant council would be good for Cardiff. The old system could be just as corrupt when one party ran Cardiff. It would be a good opportunity to take the party politics out of local government (tribalism)

  5. Mike August 22, 2010 at 1:00 am - Reply

    It should not be about Rodney Berman or criticism of his current administration. It should be about what is best for Cardiff. there needs to be city wide public meetings to see what the people want, and not just the talking (myself including) on the blogosphere. This could be organised by the Echo? I have always believed that an elected mayor who was under proper scrutiny by a vigilant council would be good for Cardiff. The old system could be just as corrupt when one party ran Cardiff. It would be a good opportunity to take the party politics out of local government (tribalism)

  6. Voice of Reason August 25, 2010 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    A directly elected mayor would be an excellent idea. At the moment we, the voters of Cardiff have no real say. Take Russell Goodway as an example, whether you like his politics or not he had the interest of Cardiff at heart and was probably a decent mayor but whether or not he kept his job was down to the labour voters of Ely, who he constantly had to pander to, and the few member of the local party responsible for re-selecting him. If he'd upset them, he could have been the best Mayor in the world but he'd be out of a job even if the remaining 99.9% of the population of Cardiif wanted him to stay.

  7. @mikecrid August 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    It should not be about Rodney Berman or criticism of his current administration. It should be about what is best for Cardiff. there needs to be city wide public meetings to see what the people want, and not just the talking (myself including) on the blogosphere. This could be organised by the Echo? I have always believed that an elected mayor who was under proper scrutiny by a vigilant council would be good for Cardiff. The old system could be just as corrupt when one party ran Cardiff. It would be a good opportunity to take the party politics out of local government (tribalism)

  8. @mikecrid August 27, 2010 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Is this really the topic of discussion amongst the ordinary people of Cardiff?

  9. @mikecrid August 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    We are talking about the same Russell Goodway who was the self appointed "Lord Mayor" as well as Council Leader. Who ran (and he did) Cardiff into the ground. The only interest that Russell put first was Russell, why else would he try to get himself selected for Ogmore in 2002 after the death of Sir Ray Powell. No Cardiff was just a doormat for his political career.A man who glorified in his bankrupting spending on the stadium and opera center, whilst Cardiff turned into a pigsty with the schools allowed to fall apart. No, Russell did not have to pander to anyone, why should he was in a safe seat. The irony is that Goodway serves as argument for and against an executive mayor. He showed what a bad idea a mayor could be where there no checks and that the people do not want. However it is also an an indictment of the current system of "Leader and Cabinet" which along with party discipline there no check and balances. The system that operates now is the same one instead of being a one man dictatorship under Goodway is now a 9 person Junta under Berman. What Cardiff needs is leader who is properly scrutinized by a vigilant council and citizenry . It gives a talented individual who is not tied to a political party secure for Cardiff a prosperous future preserving that which makes it unique.

    • Ralph Cook September 2, 2010 at 7:15 am - Reply

      Mikecrid said:

      "Russell Goodway who was the self appointed "Lord Mayor":- He was not self-appointed. Russell was elected "Lord Mayor" at a full meeting of the Council. I do not recognise the description "Who ran (and he did) Cardiff into the ground".

      And this quote is simply inaccurate:- "A man who glorified in his bankrupting spending on the stadium and opera center, whilst Cardiff turned into a pigsty with the schools allowed to fall apart".

      Please explain how and when Cardiff was "bankrupted" by the developments mentioned and tell us which schools "fell apart".

      Ralph Cook

      • @mikecrid September 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm - Reply

        Ralph, I was wrong about the Millennium Center and stadium being the reasons for Cardiff bankruptcy, however unlike most politicians I will admit when I am wrong. As for running Cardiff into the ground I am quite happy to say you, Russell and the Labour group (with its rubber stamp majority) ran Cardiff into the ground. I am correct that Cardiff in the early 2000s was rated as one of the worst run authorities in Wales, with huge rises in council taxes, with very little to show for it, except a bill for the taxpayers of Cardiff concerning a court case. I think this link sums up the last Labour administation

  10. @mikecrid September 6, 2010 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Hvud9bNwTisC&amp

    unless as Esther Rantzen would say "unless you know better".

    If you do not recall this period I can assume you were either asleep or unconscious

  11. Eirwen Jones July 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    CARDIFF AS THE CAPITAL CITY OF WALES, A COUNTRY IN ITS OWN RIGHT WITH ITS OWN HISTORY AND CULTURE SHOULD DEFINITELY HAVE AN ELECTED LORD MAYOR. THE LEADER OF CARDIFF COUNCIL HAS IMPORTANT WORK TO PERFORM BUT THE ROLE OF LORD MAYOR IS VERY DIFFERENT AND JUSTIFIABLY IMPORTANT IN SO MANY WAYS BOTH FOR CARDIFF AND WALES IN GENERAL. SO MUCH WORK IS BEING DONE TO PROMOTE WALES FOR TOURISM AND BUSINESS THAT IT IS LUDICROUS FOR THE OFFICE OF LORD MAYOR TO HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED – A RETROGRADE STEP. THE DUTIES UNDERTAKEN BY A LORD MAYOR ARE VERY IMPORTANT NATIONALLY AND WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO HAVE A LORD MAYOR OF CARDIFF MAKING FULL USE OF THE MANSION HOUSE AND TO WELCOME VISITORS AND DIGNITARIES TO OUR BEAUTIFUL CITY AND COUNTRY.

  12. @mikecrid August 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    It should not be about Rodney Berman or criticism of his current administration. It should be about what is best for Cardiff. there needs to be city wide public meetings to see what the people want, and not just the talking (myself including) on the blogosphere. This could be organised by the Echo? I have always believed that an elected mayor who was under proper scrutiny by a vigilant council would be good for Cardiff. The old system could be just as corrupt when one party ran Cardiff. It would be a good opportunity to take the party politics out of local government (tribalism)

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