The London Borough of Croydon will have a directly elected mayor after a residents’ referendum found heavily in favour of changing its governance arrangements.
More than 80% of those that took part in the referendum voted in favour of the mayoral model. Turnout amongst Croydon’s voters was 21%. Voters were given a choice between the directly elected mayor model or the council’s current system of governance, the leader and cabinet model.
The first mayoral election will take place in May 2022. The current leader and cabinet system will continue in the meantime. The result follows a period of financial strain for the authority, which issued a s114 Report in December 2020, partly caused by severe losses at its wholly-owned development company Brick-by-Brick.
The current leader of the council, Hamida Ali, said: “When I became leader last year, I promised to open up the council and give residents a stronger voice. That’s why I listened to local people and ensured the council held this referendum to give our community the chance to have their say on how the council is run in the future.
“Over the past year we have made major progress transforming the council to get our finances back on track and begin to improve the vital services our residents rely on.
Today’s result means that in May next year residents will get the chance to elect a mayor to lead our council and continue this important work reforming Croydon Council to provide the best possible services for local people.”
Croydon will become the fourth London borough to have a directly elected major, after Newham, Hackney and Lewisham which all moved to the system in 2002.