Page last updated at 08:09 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 09:09 UK

'Confusing' question not changed

Stoke Town Hall
If the city votes yes, an elected leader will be in place by May

A "confusing" 41-word question will not be changed before a referendum over whether Stoke-on-Trent should have an elected mayor is held.

The Plain English Campaign has said the question is unclear and people could be confused over what they were voting for.

The government had said the wording was engraved in law but was hoping to change it.

But the council said it could not be done before 23 October.

Elected leader

The city was told earlier this year by a government commission that it needed to change its existing system which sees the elected mayor and chief executive make all decisions.

The council was offered the option of having either an elected mayor with a cabinet or an elected council leader with a cabinet.

Councillors have already said they prefer the latter option.

The referendum question which will be put to voters is: "Are you in favour of the proposal for Stoke-on-Trent City Council to be run in a new way, which includes a councillor, who will be elected by the councillors of Stoke-on-Trent to lead the council and the community which it serves?"

If the city votes yes to the elected leader system, it will be installed from May 2009.

Referendum question 'confusing'
16 Sep 08 |  Staffordshire
Referendum campaign groups set up
15 Sep 08 |  Staffordshire
Referendum over city's government
11 Sep 08 |  Staffordshire
Opponents 'would need law change'
27 Jul 08 |  Staffordshire
City chief defends quit decision
24 Jul 08 |  Staffordshire
Mayor 'No' vote would be ignored
19 Jun 08 |  Staffordshire

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