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Bristol to hold public consultation on new governance arrangements

Bristol City Council is to consult the public on how it should implement a referendum decision to drop the elected mayor model and revert to a council with a committee system.

Residents in May voted by 56,113 to 38,439 to scrap the mayoral system, which had been in place since a previous referendum in 2012. The current incumbent is Labour’s Marvin Rees.

The council has established a cross-party working group to develop the committee model of governance, which will report back to full council before the end of this year.

This working group will develop the design principles for the structure of the committee model including the functions of full council, terms of reference of the committees and the officer scheme of delegation.

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It is expected to seek to learn from the experience of other councils that have reverted to the committee system, which councils have been permitted to do since the Localism Act 2011.

Sheffield City Council has moved to the committee system following a referendum last year, although it previously had a leader-and-cabinet system rather than mayor.

Hartlepool Borough Council, which abolished its elected mayoralty in 2013, has adopted a committee system.

Some small districts were allowed to keep the committee system by the Local Government Act 2000 and never had cabinet governance.

Other councils that have reverted to the committee system include: Kingston-upon-Thames, Wirral, Reading, Brighton & Hove, Newark & Sherwood and Cheshire East.

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