As the developing Liverpool City region investigates the idea of an elected Mayor I ask the same question. Should Formby have a Mayor?
Across the English Channel there are Mayor's in every single Municipality (Commune) no matter what the size and there are 36,569 of these in 22 regions. In France Councils elections are held every six years.
Despite enormous differences in population, each French Commune have a Mayor (Maire) and a Municipal Council (Conseil Municipal) who jointly manage the commune from the Mairie (Town Hall), with exactly the same powers no matter the size of the commune except Paris.
The first task of a newly constituted council is to choose a mayor, whose term of office is six years. ..... A Mayor’s responsibilities include: Civil registration, culture, economy, education, environment, public order, roads, social welfare, urban planning.
It's simply a matter of changing the name of Formby 'Parish Council' to Formby 'Town Council'. The current role of 'Chair' would then be that of a Mayor.
Many may object on the grounds of cost, but the 'High Profile' of the title should not cost anymore than now. On the other hand the raised profile does enhance accountability and awareness of the functions and effects of really local Government. The French experience clearly illustrates this point.
There are some in Formby who complain at the moment the current Council is too much of an unaccountable body. A Mayoralty would bring more focus and more attention.
- It would lead to greater Civic Awareness, much in need these days.
- It would give a key figure in the community as a point of contact.
- The role would help to reinforce the cultural, social and geographical identity of Formby in the context of the wider Sefton and Liverpool City Region authorities.
Although the powers of Town Mayors in England are not as comprehensive as they are in France, given the right personality and energy local Mayors can exercise leadership, influence and stability in their communities.
On balance I favour the idea of a Mayor for Formby, but not in the case of the much smaller Little Altcar Parish Council
What do you think?