Talkswindon Archive - 2005 to 2010

Politics: Swindon & Westminster => A Directly Elected Leader For Swindon? => Topic started by: Geoff Reid on June 24, 2008, 07:43:44 pm

Title: SURVEY: Directly Elected Mayors: Right For Swindon? - Right For You?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 24, 2008, 07:43:44 pm

This survey is easy to participate in, even for people who sometimes struggle with all things t'internet and interweb related! If you can receive an email the online version is a doddle.

We have produced a very short set of instructions in the  very next post in this topic (

We will also be producing a printer-friendly version so the survey can be passed to the large numbers of quill and inkpot enthusiasts. This should be ready by the end of the month, when it is we will publish the detail right here.

In the meantime, we ask:

Is it time to elect Swindon's first non-ceremonial Mayor?

Here's a quick bullet-point history lesson of how Swindon came to adopt the present politically appointed leader and cabinet model leadership structure.

There is a resurgent debate over whether the original consultation process was interpreted and acted upon properly by the elected members of the council in 2001. 

For example: The Swindon Peoples Voice survey did show 43.6% of respondents being in favour of the Leader and cabinet model but also saw the other 56.4% of the respondents rejecting the leader and cabinet model and opting for either of the elected Mayor options.
Another example of possible, (and perhaps a deliberate), misinterpretation of survey results arises from the 7,033 responses received from the 78,000 booklets delivered to every household in Swindon.  The 'Overall findings and conclusions' documents concludes:

"In terms of the Leadership options a significant majority (52%) supported the Leader with the Cabinet model, with 27% and 21% indicating a preference for Mayor with Cabinet and Mayor with Council Manager options respectively"

However, as the survey was distributed at the rate of one per household, and not one survey per registered voter it is impossible to tell whether the 7,033 returns represent the views of just one voter in each household or a consensus of voter opinion in each household. Furthermore, as the survey did not ask for a name, address or even if the respondent was on the electoral roll, the responses should have been treated as unreliable but were instead used to justify the change in leadership method without a further reference to, or polling the public.

The results from the council's other surveys were also significantly less decisive than the "Overall findings and conclusions" document seems to suggest, leading many to regard the 2001 conclusion:

"this provides sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a “referendum” for the Borough would not provide a different outcome" being difficult to support when compared to the published survey results.

Concluding the history lesson, Swindon now has a model of political leadership which might not have been adopted if the electors of Swindon had been able, or perhaps allowed to vote on the options available to them in 2001.

With public interest in Mayoral elections and referenda running high, we feel it entirely appropriate to ask the electorate to share its views on the subject of elected Mayors in 2008.

Is it time to review the way things are run?

Tell us now by clicking here ( and taking our survey.

If you wish to examine copies of the original surveys, results, accompanying documents and recommendations before you contribute to the survey please visit our Elected Mayors document reference topic ( where you can view and download the relevant material.


Title: Re: SURVEY: Directly Elected Mayors: Right For Swindon? - Right For You?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 25, 2008, 09:36:04 am
Instructions on taking the on-line survey

The email will look very similar to this:


Dear Geoff

You have been invited to participate in a Swindon-wide survey.

The survey is titled:

The 2008 'Elected Mayor for Swindon?' survey"

To participate, please click on the link below.


The Talkswindon eDem team (

Click here to do the survey:   

Report problems by contacting

There will be a printed version of the Survey available by the end of June (2008)

Title: Re: SURVEY: Directly Elected Mayors: Right For Swindon? - Right For You?
Post by: Tobes on December 20, 2010, 05:19:36 pm

An update within the Adver on the latest maneoverings by our political misrepresenentatives...
Title: Re: SURVEY: Directly Elected Mayors: Right For Swindon? - Right For You?
Post by: Muggins on December 20, 2010, 05:24:53 pm
I'm starting a Muggins nag: The government, yes, this one right now, has said that councils can, if they wish, go back to the committee style.

Now I know that wasn't perfect, but it seems to me they were better days, and suggest we go back to that, until they can think of something better.
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