The coalition government as part of the Localism Act have called a referendum in England’s 10 largest cities.
The aim is to ask residents whether they wish to switch to an elected mayor model to run local services. All executive power rests with just one individual who is directly elected once every four years.
Bristol has had the choice to switch to this model for over 10 years. A petition of residents would have automatically triggered a referendum.
But Bristol’s residents, like those in the other cities, chose not to do this. Despite this, the Government has decided to spend £millions on holding these referenda.