Dear Editor, It’s good to see that the forthcoming referendum on whether Birmingham should have an elected mayor is sparking discussion on this newspaper’s letters page.

This will be a crucial decision for the future of our city and before we cast our votes, we need to have an open and robust debate about the case for change.

I’m campaigning hard for a yes vote, because I believe that an elected mayor will be good for Birmingham.

But it’s important that people have access to all the facts about elected mayors so they can take an informed decision.

I know from my conversations with residents that they are keen to know more about the powers the mayor will have; how a mayor will work alongside residents and councillors and how elected mayors have worked in other cities and towns. To help answer some of these questions, I have set up a website:

The site has links to articles and information about the role of an elected mayor, along with the latest news on the referendum campaign.

I’d like to invite all readers to log on, take a look and join the debate on Birmingham’s future.

Gisela Stuart MP

(Labour, Birmingham Edgbaston)

Dear Editor, How can we afford to hold a referendum on elected mayors, when we cannot afford to have a referendum on whether the people want to remain in the European Union?

There is no point in having two Houses in Parliament if the EU’s Committee of the Regions is directing the mayors and regions, is there? There will also be the full regalia and a full cabinet to pay for and the extra layer of governance to pay for.

Can the people really afford all this? It is indeed each of us that are going to have to pay for it all in the end. Do the people have to pay interest on what the Government have borrowed to finance all this?

We are actually paying and electing our own Government to govern this country according to its common law constitution, yet none can actually do that, can they?

We need a referendum to see exactly who we, the people, want to govern this country. Our own people in our own Parliament, or foreigners in Brussels which, according to our long-standing common law constitution, would probably be an act of treason.

Anne Palmer,