One of the Labour Candidates pledges during these by elections is a petition to call for a referendum on having a directly elected Mayor (DEM) here in K&C.
A DEM will replace the leader and cabinet and have sole executive authority for all decisions, and thats all decisions. The only time an ordinary councillor has any say will be on the budget when two thirds of the council have to vote in favour of the proposals that are made in the name of the Directly Elected Mayor.
Of course the DEM appoints a collection of councillors who act as "advisors" and s/he can either heed their advice, totally ignore it or meet somewhere in the middle.
So exactly what are the Labour lot proposing?
They have finally cottoned onto the fact that you do not need to win more than half of the seats to have control if you have a DEM, so have jumped on the bandwagon that Hornet suggested last year.
To switch to a DEM the first step is a referendum in which 5% of the voting public in the borough sign up to. Then the question is asked, "do you want a directly elected mayor, yes or no" and if more people say yes than no then an election to find one is held within a month or so. If the answer is no, then its status quo.
But how many signatures do they need to ensure it triggers the referendum process?
The legislation put in place by the Blair government bringing in these demi gods thought of that, and by law each local authority is required to publish its "electoral verification number" that is the minimum number of signatures required.
....and here you see above the page from the council website that proudly displays the figure as 2,563 electors confirmed as 5% of the boroughs voting public.
Only it isn't.
Here you can see the electorate for Kensington seat is about 65,000 - now that is about average size and it doesnt take a mathematical genius to work out that 2563 is nowhere near 5%.
So, Dear Reader, your man at the Top of the Heap, Mr Derek Myers who as Big Cheese at Solace attended conferences of Solace at your expense using his Council Credit Card, also presides over an authority that cant even do its sums right.
£240,000 per year he gets, but Hornet bets payroll get it right.