Mayoral system to go to the vote — in 2015
A MAYORAL referendum is to be held in Torbay in 2015 to decide whether to continue the system.
Mayor Gordon Oliver, who has said he wants to see the system dropped in Torbay, told members of Torbay Civic Society a vote will be held in the year of the next mayoral election.
Whoever is elected as mayor will serve until 2019, he told the society's annual meeting.
But if the electorate voted against a paid mayor, then from 2018/2019 the unitary authority would return to its former state of elected councillors being in full authority.
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The mayor told the meeting of his plans for Torbay which included making the area a leading player in new local and national events.
With Arts Council backing, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will be returning to Torbay in the New Year and there are a number of new sporting and maritime events already at the planning stage.
Mayor Oliver agreed to answer questions and confirmed that an earlier start than had been expected is forecast for the Kingskerswell Bypass.
He said construction may start in September rather than as originally forecast October.
He confirmed the Section 106 payment for the replacement of the old Palm Court Hotel with a new multi-purpose building had been agreed with the developer Havard Tisdale.
With regard to housing figures, mayor Oliver said this subject would in future be determined to some extent by the newly formed Neighbourhood Plan Forums under legislation from Government.
If the Hi-Flyer balloon fails to fly again Torre Abbey Meadows will be returned to its former use as a public park. The mayor confirmed that councillors have accepted there will be no future permanent buildings allowed on the meadows as they are to be treated as part of the Ancient Monument site which gives higher priority protection in terms of conservation/heritage than Village Green status.