§ Mr. Pickles
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reasons he decided to end the practice of compulsory referendums for mayoral management of local authorities. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
I set out the reasons behind the Government's approach to the use of the Secretary of State's powers to direct councils to hold mayoral referendums in the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) on 25 June 2002,Official Report, columns 812–13W. Within the framework of freedoms and flexibilities that we are introducing for councils, we believe it is more appropriate for councils themselves to make and justify to local people their own judgments on the outcome of any consultation about proposals for a new constitution.
It continues to be the case that where 5 per cent. or more of a local authority's electorate sign a petition calling for a mayoral referendum to be held, the council will be required to hold such a referendum.