Last year more than 20,000 people signed a petition calling for the council leader to be replaced with a democratically elected mayor.
The campaign for a democratically elected mayor of Croydon (DEMOC) launched in February last year and handed their petition to Croydon Council in September.
The council’s ruling Labour group has now confirmed it plans to hold a referendum in October – this decision is set to be debated by the councillors at a meeting on January 25.
It comes as the council faces a major financial crisis with an overspend of more than £60 million and emergency spending restrictions in place.
Currently Croydon uses the leader and cabinet model – this means the council leader is chosen by members of the ruling party.
A directly elected mayor is the system used in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Watford.
It would see the current council leader replaced by a mayor chosen by Croydon voters.
Under this system the ceremonial mayor in Croydon would be renamed the chairperson of the council and undertake the same responsibilities, including chairing full council meetings and attending local events.
This will be one of the options on the ballot paper and over the coming months it will be decided what the second option will be.
This will either be the current leader and cabinet system or a committee system where the council would be divided into politically balanced committees to make decisions.
This would mean overview and scrutiny committees would no longer be required.
Leader of the council, councillor Hamida Ali, said: “Croydon Council is under new leadership, and we know that many residents want to see this debate and choose the governance model that will shape how the council is governed in the future.
“Holding the referendum in October means there will be plenty of time for local people to consider the issues involved and weigh up the merits of the different options.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.