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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
Troubled Torbay votes for mayor
Torbay is to become the first authority in the South West to be led by a US-style directly-elected mayor.

Local residents voted for the change in a referendum on Thursday. The first elections to chose a mayor will take place in October.

The mayor will choose a cabinet from elected councillors, rather than the post being a ceremonial position.

The aim is to make the mayor more accountable to the people amid a series of controversial council decisions.

The council was rated as among the worst performers in the country in 2002 by the Audit Commission and a close monitoring system was enforced.

But at the end of last year it moved up a rating under the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) and is now described as "fair".

However, there has been a string of controversial decisions, including the closure of public toilets, councillors' pay rises and the removal of a permanent cross at Torbay Crematorium.

Torbay brings to 13 the number of directly elected mayors, including London.




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