Letter: Time we had a ‘People’s Mayor’

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It saddens me that again the election of a borough mayor (this time at Long Eaton Town Hall), reveals, in my view, Erewash to be totally out of touch with the real world.

Can anyone tell me what good the last mayor – or any of the predecessors in that office - did for Erewash?

From where I’m sitting, it was the same old ‘duties’ such as cutting the ribbon at opening ceremonies.

What councillors won’t tell us is the ruinous cost of running this out-moded office, with its decorations and chains and baubles that could be sold to help finance our public services.

And what do our Parliamentary candidates think about this use of public money in the age of ‘austerity’? Do they have a view?

Perhaps it’s time that residents of Erewash were given a vote, on whether they want to continue paying for the post, or spend that money on the community, by donating the costs to care homes or our threatened SureStart Children’s Centres?

Unfortunately, I think it’s about as likely that this will happen as it is for pigs to sprout wings.

But if Erewash Borough Council is determined to continue with the office of Mayor, then I’ve got a suggestion for them.

Let’s have a ‘People’s Mayor’!

And let that person be chosen by the general public, not councillors!

What about a nurse, a care worker, or somebody working for no pay for a hard-pressed charity?

The successful candidate would do the job on a ‘no pay’ basis for a year.

They would wear ordinary clothes instead of elaborate robes and have their photograph in the Mayor’s Parlor as a member of their community who is volunteering in a public office for a year.

What a great example that would set!

You never know, it might interest people in their local council instead of voting with their feet at election time by tearing up a postal vote or switching on the TV rather than participating in a system that, at present, in my opinion benefits the few at the expense of the many!

So let’s hear it for the People’s Mayor! I’d vote for that – but would our councillors?

Don’t hold your breath!

Paul Brett

Duke Street, Ilkeston