Nominations for the election of Wrexham’s new Mayor are due to go before Councillors this week, although following tradition it is due to be the current Deputy Mayor.
In a report due to go before the Full Council on Wednesday evening it is recommended that current Deputy Mayor, Councillor T. Alan Edwards, is nominated for the office of Mayor of the County Borough for the year 2014/2015, subject to his acceptance of the office of Mayor.
Along with this it recommended that the position of Deputy Mayor is filled by Councillor Mrs Barbara Roxburgh subject to her acceptance of the office of Deputy Mayor.
The Mayors of Wrexham are elected from the members of the Council at its Annual Meeting and serve a term of one year, although in past years some Mayors have served in the post for two or more years. It is generally accepted that the current year’s Deputy Mayor becomes the following year’s Mayor.
It is believed that on average the Mayor and Mayoress will attend around 400 events in a year, with one such event tweeted to us yesterday:
— Wrexham Swim Club (@WrexhamSC) March 23, 2014
Due to recent budget cuts, the position of Mayor is one that has fallen under scrutiny over the last few months; with many questioning the need for a Mayor in Wrexham. Others have argued that the role should be unpaid and go to a member of the community.
In a Freedom of Information request (FOI) that was published last year, it was revealed that over the past five years £104,479 was spent on functions and hospitality for the Mayor.
The FOI also stated that in the last five years, over £10,000 had been spent on flowers for the Mayor.
Last October an email seen by Wrexham.com revealed that the total civic budget for the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Mayoress for 2013/14 is £138,613
The email also revealed that for 2013/14 budget of £1,149 had been set aside for flowers and stationery.
The position of the Mayor is one that divided users of the Wrexham.com forums, with opinions varying from the cost of the Mayor to others agreeing with the tradition of the role.
One user said: “I do not see an issue with the position of Mayor – if the post-holder is doing a good job that is. A mayor that gets out into the local community, pushed for business, supports community initiatives and generally promotes the area can be a huge benefit.”
However another user stated: “The Mayor should be unpaid. All they seem to do is take it in turns to be Mayor.”
What are your thoughts on having a Mayor? Is it good to keep up the tradition or is the role not appropriate given the current Council budget cuts? You can take part in the debate on our forums here…