You would never guess from Mike Jackson’s letter in this paper that he and his party were the chief cheerleaders for Watford having an elected mayor. At the time there was no hint from him of questioning the result of the referendum

But his plan backfired on him. He assumed the elected mayor would be Labour, but Watford residents elected Dorothy Thornhill. So now, Labour want to take away this choice and have a council leader chosen by a group of councillors and party wirepullers behind closed doors.

All the evidence shows that the mayoral system has worked well in Watford. When Dorothy was first elected she inherited from Labour a failing council that was rated by external inspectors as one of the worst in the country, unable to produce proper accounts three years running, with poor quality services and terrible public satisfaction rates. Under Dorothy’s leadership the council has been transformed, with very positive reports from auditors and inspectors, high public satisfaction rates and improved services, better parks and leisure facilities, and increased investment in the town. And, given that residents have re-elected Dorothy three times, all by convincing majorities, they appear to think that the system is working well too.

Cllr Derek Scudder

Liberal Democrat Watford borough councillor for Stanborough