Page last updated at 06:58 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 07:58 UK

Polls open for elected mayor vote

Bury Town Hall
If people vote against an elected mayor there would be no change

Voters in Bury have been going to the polls to decide whether the borough should be run by an elected mayor.

A 8,000-signature petition calling for the move was handed to the council in January, forcing the referendum.

If a majority vote yes, an election will be held in October. But if voters decide against it, the Conservatives will continue to run the council.

An elected mayor would chose a cabinet of councillors and be responsible for the day-to-day running of the council.

Bury is the first council in Greater Manchester to offer the referendum.

Polling stations will be open until 2200 BST.

If voted through, the borough council, with its 51 councillors, would remain but it would be led by a directly elected mayor, who could decide on major policies.

The first elected mayor would hold office until May 2013. After that a mayor would be elected every four years.

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