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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Leader of campaign for elected mayor in Copeland speaks out

A DRIVING force behind a group calling for a “people’s revolution” has told why she feels there is a need for change.

It was announced in January that a referendum will be held to decide between an elected mayor and a council leader in Copeland.

The vote, to be held on May 22, was secured following a campaign led by Carla Arrighi, of Whitehaven, owner of Arrighi’s Seafood Restaurant.

The petition, which needed 2,000 valid signatures, reached the council with a total of 3,197. Now Mrs Arrighi has spoken out about why Copeland is in severe need of change.

She cites towns like Millom, which she visited while touring the borough to spread her message, as the reason a change in local government is so important.

She said: “I found Millom very upsetting. They really need help. They need more money to be spent on the town because at the moment most people seem to have given up.

“I think that everybody is just sick of party politics and a lack of accountability. It’s time for change.”

Mrs Arrighi believes the borough’s leader should be voted in by people in the area and not fellow councillors.

She said: “We think the elected mayor system is far more democratic than what we have in place now. I don’t think it’s fair that we have a leader we didn’t even vote for. We’re calling this a people’s revolution.”

Copeland borough councillor and Millom town councillor, Felicity Wilson said it was good to see people defend their “democratic right”, despite some concerns about the financial implications of the process.

Another Copeland borough councillor, Keith Hitchen, said: “This is democracy and it’s going to give the residents of Copeland the chance to choose their own leader.”

Unlike council leaders, directly elected mayors are voted into their positions by the people.

If the majority of votes in the referendum are in favour of the council being run by a mayor who is directly elected by voters, then there will be a mayoral election on October 16 .

Have your say

Quite frankly, I'm concerned about decisions made by a few councillors hand picked by the present leader to be her executive, who, without any kind of consultation with the rest of the elected members seem to do as they like with our taxes. I also think that the Council leader should be free from party politics......I will be voting for an elected mayor, it's about time there was fairness and accountability in local spending.....time for change

Posted by Shelagh Cloudsdale on 9 April 2014 at 21:01

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