One of the principal objections to Elected Mayors is the way in which their salaries dwarf those previously paid to Council Leaders (immediately before they were replaced). There is little evidence that Council Tax payers receive any differential benefit for the extra outlay.
Over the past few months I've been trying to put together a "before and after" table for each of the Boroughs where Elected Mayors have been introduced, via Freedom of Information requests (Ian - you have my sympathies). So now, here are the facts
Borough Council Leader Salary Elected Mayor Salary Change
Hackney £5,126 £73,085 + 2945%
Hartlepool £7,200 £60,076 + 734%
North Tyneside £10,350 £58,629 + 466%
Watford £16,452.08 £56,088 + 241%
Middlesbrough £18,411.12 £61,585.02 + 235%
Stoke £29,790 £76,231.16 + 156%
Mansfield £21,477.02 £50,475.36 + 135%
Lewisham £32,800 £75,844 + 131%
Torbay £27,000 £58,980 + 118%
Doncaster £40,200 £70,567 + 75%
Newham (1) £76,194 N/A
Bedford (2) £46,326.96 N/A
(1) I couldn't get any more information from Newham, although I'm still trying!
(2) Prior to the creation of an Elected Mayor, there was no Leader of Bedford Borough Council (maybe a clue as to why the decision was taken to have one).
In addition, elected Mayors have a propsensity for political advisors (not to be confused with Cabinet members). These earn between £5,000 a year (in Lewisham there are 4) and up to £35,000 (in Bedford and Doncaster).
Most elected Mayors were created in 2002 and 2003. Has your salary increased by 523% since then (the average for all the Mayors where comparisons can be made?)
So with the cost of the referendum estimated at £145,000, and the cost of seperate elections for the elected Mayor at £100,000, it all begins to add up....