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October 22, 2001

Question written on 22/10/2001

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions why Westminster city council has been selected for a survey on public attitudes to directly elected mayors.

Answered by Alan Whitehead

The research was conducted in a number of locations which varied in size, which had different authority types, and which are likely to be opting for different forms of new constitutions. This was to provide a broad range of different situations to inform the survey’s conclusions. The Department chose some authorities that have held or will be holding a referendum on directly elected mayors, others that intend to adopt a leader and cabinet form of executive and others who had yet to decide their preference. In addition, the Department wanted a wide geographical spread of locations to be surveyed. Based on those criteria, Westminster was a suitable candidate to be surveyed. Members of the public have also been surveyed in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Harrow, Middlesbrough, Preston, Plymouth, Oxford and Derby. The Department will publish the results of the research in due course.