Should we consider a directly elected Mayor for Belfast?

Watching the Sunday Politics this morning, I listened to Sinn Fein Councillor Deirdre Hargey and DUP MLA, Gary Middleton discuss the benefits of respective City Deals was could be on their way to Belfast and Derry. I wanted to throw this idea out into the public sphere to find out more about the process. David Sweeting has been examining the impact of a directly elected Mayor in Bristol; Here I discuss two findings that are likely to be of interest …

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“Lisburn is still firmly stuck in the dark ages as a fiefdom for the DUP and bigotry”

This week’s Ulster Star cover story proclaims: Bigotry ‘alive and well’ on city council ‘Bigotry and discrimination are alive and well on Lisburn City Council’, it has been claimed in the wake of the Council’s Annual General Meeting. Both the Alliance Party and Sinn Fein have hit out after the DUP took the two top posts on Council – with the deputy mayor’s election particularly contentious. Lisburn City Council tends to follow the pattern of allowing this year’s deputy mayor …

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Lembit Opik hasn’t gone away you know (PS: Brian Paddick’s the Lib Dem candidate for London mayor)

While earlier this week ‘punk godfather’ Terri Hooley won the race to be elected as Lord Mayor of the Cathedral Quarter as part of Culture Night Belfast‘s celebrations, the competitors are only warming up on the starting line of the 2012 London Mayoral elections. This evening, London Lib Dem members voted to give former Metropolitan Police officer and 2008-candidate Brian Paddick a second chance, rather than hand the opportunity to ‘celebrity’ Lembit Opik. In an interview with London’s Evening Standard, …

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SF Mayor of Cashel who made history by shaking hands with the Queen has died

Amongst the plethora of Orange-tinged posts on Slugger this week, there’s room to highlight that today’s Belfast Telegraph notes the death of the Sinn Fein councillor “who made history by shaking hands with the Queen”. Michael Browne, who was Mayor of Cashel in Co Tipperary, died on Saturday night following a long battle with cancer. Mr Browne had been widely praised for his decision to defy Sinn Fein’s advice to members to stay away from all events linked to the …

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A question of residency and representation

Over in Chicago, they’re going to elect a new mayor this month. President Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is one of those running to be chief executive of the third largest city in the US. However, securing his place on the ballot paper hasn’t been plain sailing due to legal challenges around his residency “in the town for a year before the election”. Clearly Emanuel and his family moved to live and work in Washington DC for a …

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