A campaign to allow the people of Birmingham to decide whether or not the city is run by an elected mayor has failed to raise enough interest, it has been revealed.
People signed the petition in their thousands but it was still short of the massive total needed to force a people’s poll.
More than 36,000 city voters had to sign within a 12-month period to automatically trigger a binding referendum after Birmingham City Council had refused to voluntarily hold one.
The campaign was supported by community groups across the city, by leading business figures and many politicians from all parties, with numerous "action days" held and petition forms regularly printed in The Birmingham Post's sister paper, The Birmingham Mail.
Up to a third of the total was collected, but a ruthless verification system would have seen that number dramatically cut as signatures with incomplete details, those not on the electoral roll, those who have moved and those who live in areas such as Solihull and Smethwick were binned.
Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson said: "It has been a fascinating campaign and I’m really pleased we have engaged thousands of people in thinking about the way they are governed.
"However, the level of interest in considering an alternative system is not yet high enough to legally progress the issue and so it is only right and proper that this is publicly acknowledged."
The campaign to let voters decide on elected mayors was supported by the Birmingham Citizens community group, the council’s Labour group, the Birmingham Association of Neighbourhood Forums, the Birmingham University Guild of Students and leading business groups.