Second chance for mayor campaigners

CAMPAIGNERS for a US-style mayoral system in Mansfield will have a second chance to force a referendum next week when they once again submit their petition.

CAMPAIGNERS for a US-style mayoral system in Mansfield will have a second chance to force a referendum next week when they once again submit their petition.

Businessman Stewart Rickersey and his supporters say they now have enough names and have carried out rigorous checks to avoid it being rejected yet again.

A first petition was thrown out in July because 600 of the 3,900 names were declared invalid.

Since then, Mr Rickersey has kept his campaign going and claims he will be "astonished" if the petition is thrown out.

Speaking to Chad this week, Mr Rickersey said: "From the point when the council rejected the original petition, it just made people more determined. There was never any possibility we were not going to get the extra names.

"We ve had people knocking on doors and canvassing opinion, and people have been very forthcoming."

Mr Rickersey claims the council consultation over changes to its decision-making structure last year was "flawed", saying the authority should not have indicated its preference for the cabinet and leader system it adopted in May.

But the council insists the new system was approved by a ballot of Mansfield residents and has warned a referendum and potential mayoral election could cost up to 100,000.

Chief executive Richard Goad told Chad: "We ve not received official notice from Mr Rickersey or anyone else that a second mayoral referendum petition is to be submitted.

"If and when we do, details on the petition will be subject to the same checks for accuracy which followed submission of the first petition."