Birmingham must continue its campaign for devolved power from Westminster despite the rejection of an elected city mayor, the city's business leaders said.
Birmingham Chamber of Commerce said the ‘No’ vote should “not be treated as a mandate for inertia but should be regarded as a new impetus to forge ahead with reforms for the good of the city”.
The referendum result saw 57.8 per cent of those who went to the polls rejecting Birmingham’s own Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone show.
Chamber president Michael Ward said: “This is a disappointing result for Birmingham.
“The 'No' vote will unquestionably make it harder for the city to achieve devolution of powers and freedoms which are crucial to tackling the unemployment crisis and creating the best business environment in the city.
“We always knew it was going to be difficult to sell the concept of an elected mayor in Birmingham and it would have been helpful if the government had spelled out the sort of powers it would give them.
“Our number one priority remains successfully negotiating the devolution of new powers on critical areas such strategic planning, transport and skills provision.
“The LEP-negotiated City Deal is our best means of achieving significant devolution and we will continue to support the LEP as it defines its strategy, new powers and sector focus.
“We look to the new Leader to continue Birmingham City Council’s support of the business leadership of the LEP and to deliver on the committed 100,000 new jobs by 2020.”
Around 214,000 Birmingham residents voted on the elected mayor issue - about 30 per cent of the city’s electorate.
A total of 120,611 voted against an elected mayor while 88,085 voted in favour.