What seems to incur the wrath of people is George Ferguson’s apparent anti-car stance. He’s reduced speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph in various parts of Bristol. Because what is truly damaging to Bristol is £80+ million cuts and not reducing the speed limit. Central government sees executive mayors as a robust form of local government. Robust enough to push through a £90million arena and £80+ million worth of cuts. Hardly democratic or transparent. Where is the legitimacy for this? There isn’t any just an edict from a dictatorial mayor. People may have voted for Ferguson but I doubt if they truly understood the meaning of an executive mayor. When looking at the voting patterns the yes vote was skewed towards the middle class/prosperous areas. Hardly democratic. When you witness Ferguson in action in a council meeting he can’t engage or argue based on politics. Instead he comes across like a petulant child.
Ferguson possibly regards council meetings along with democracy as an obstacle to his plans. In essence he behaves like a business man and this is expressed in the manner he conducts these council meetings… badly. And his conduct outside the council house which included swearing at a member of public. What seems to escape George is a matter of accountability. No body is allowed to criticise him. No details of proposals are given: we are expected to meekly accept that the arena for example will pay for itself and provide jobs and prosperity for Bristol. How long will it be obligatory for lesser mortals such as members of the council or members of the public must tug the forelock before the red-trousered one?!