A REFERENDUM on whether Warrington Borough Council (WBC) should have an elected mayor would cost the authority around £150,000.

The question will be put to the public if a petition, which was launched by Grappenhall resident Richard Buttrey, secures 7,917 signatures.

But deputy council leader Cllr Russ Bowden, executive board member for corporate finance and property, has raised concerns.

He said: "Holding a referendum would cost WBC around £150,000.

"That is money that could be better used providing vital frontline services, particularly to the most vulnerable in our town.

"Only 30 per cent of the referenda held so far have supported elected mayors, so this looks like an expensive way to test public opinion.

"There is little evidence that having a directly elected mayor improves outcomes for residents.

"Indeed, some towns have reverted back to the traditional 'leader and cabinet' council model."

The Warrington Guardian understands the EU referendum cost the council in the region of £170,000.

To view the petition, which needs to be printed off and signed, head to wbcelectedmayor.wordpress.com.