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Call to vote in city provosts – Daily Express

Daily Express, 30.6.08

People living in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh should have the chance to vote for directly elected provosts, according to a think tank.

Reform Scotland published what it called a "recipe for the revival of local democracy in Scotland".

It calls for the Scottish Government to organise referendums in a bid to discover if residents want directly elected leaders.

It said: "The advantage of having an elected provost or mayor is that it provides a figurehead and therefore strengthens accountability.

"If combined with greater powers for local government generally, a directly elected provost or mayor could provide strong and effective leadership.

"In New York the elected mayor led the city\’s drive to reduce crime.  Equally, an elected provost or mayor could provide a focus for efforts to drive forward economic development in our cities"

The think-tank argued that in countries such as Sweden, France and Norway local councils represent communitues smaller than Scotland\’s but are able to levy taxes and exercise control over services.