councillors - Burkhill and Edgar - Cheshire East Mayor

A cross-party group of eight councillors will consider whether the Cheshire East mayoralty should continue, writes Stephen Topping.

Cheshire East Council’s constitution committee has agreed to set up a working group with eight councillors to consider the issue.

It comes after CEC members voted for a review into the mayoralty at October’s full council meeting.

The working group will consider whether the role should continue – and if the role is scrapped, who would chair full council meetings and represent CEC on formal occasions, such as royal visits.

It will also consider if the mayoralty is to continue, whether there should be changes to the formality of the role, the mayor’s workload and their support for charities.

The future of the mayoral car – which has been a Bentley since CEC was formed in 2009 – will also be considered, along with the appointment of a chaplain to read prayers at full council meetings.

How the Cheshire East mayor works with other town mayors across the borough would also be considered.

The issue of CEC’s mayor divided opinion at October’s full council meeting.

Cllr James Barber, Labour, put the issue up for discussion – suggesting the role should be scrapped, in line with his party’s manifesto commitment in May’s local election.

He said: “In tight financial restrictions, should we be spending nearly £100,000 a year on the mayoralty?

“Is all the pomp and ceremony conductive to efficient meetings?”

His stance was opposed by Cllr Lesley Smetham, Conservative, who served as Cheshire East mayor in 2018-19 and argued the value of having a mayor to raise the borough’s profile is ‘too great to lose’.

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy CEC leader, amended Cllr Barber’s motion to propose a review into the role – arguing there is ‘no good reason’ why the mayoralty should not be considered for cost-cutting.

One Comment

  1. Geoffrey Stockton says:

    £100000 will fill a lot of potholes

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