CONTROVERSIAL Government plans to force Sheffield City Council to appoint a shadow mayor in advance of a referendum have been dropped.
Voters will still have to decide next May whether Sheffield should have a powerful executive mayor, similar to the system in place in Doncaster.
If the city votes in favour, mayoral elections will take place in May 2013.
But proposals to appoint a shadow mayor, replacing current council leaders and who would be in post until May 2012, have been deleted from the Localism Bill currently going through Parliament.
The move would have affected Sheffield and the 10 other largest cities in England.
None of the parties in Sheffield have shown any enthusiasm for elected mayors, and opposition Liberal Democrat leader Shaffaq Mohammed welcomed the latest announcement.
He said: “Just last week I met personally with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and we have been lobbying hard on this issue for sometime now.
“Local people will welcome that this important concession has been won through Liberal Democrat influence within the Government.
“We have always argued that Sheffielders should have their say and I’m glad to see that will now happen before any mayor is installed.
“Liberal Democrats will be arguing against the idea but in the end it will be local people who decide.”