Mayor of Rushcliffe
To contact the Mayor or Deputy Mayor please contact the Mayor's Secretary on
Phone: 0115 9148 521
Post: Rushcliffe Borough Council, Civic Centre, Pavilion Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 5FE.
Background: statutory position
The role of Mayor is covered by Section 3 of the Local Government Act 1972 which states in summary:
- All local authorities must appoint a Chairman. The only authorities who can use the term Mayor are those districts which have been granted a Royal Charter and given the status of Borough or City. Also, Parishes can, by resolution, designate themselves as Town Councils and elect a Mayor. Rushcliffe was granted a Royal Charter in 1974 and became a Borough Council
- The Mayor shall be elected annually by the Council from amongst elected Councillors at the Annual Meeting
- The Mayor shall continue in office until a successor is appointed (unless he or she resigns or is disqualified)
- The Mayor shall continue to act as a member of the Council during his or her term of office
- The Mayor will have precedence in the district
- The election of Mayor is required to be the first business transacted at the Annual Meeting of the Council in May each year
- The Council is also required by the Act to appoint a Deputy Mayor, who will act in the absence of the Mayor.
The role of Mayor
The Mayor has precedence in the Borough, but not so as to affect Her Majesty's Royal Prerogative - effectively and historically, this means the Mayor is the "first citizen" of the Borough.
This civic role of office is perhaps the more important element of the Mayor's duties during the term of office in representing the Borough in its widest sense, both within Rushcliffe and outside when attending functions in other areas.
The Mayor also presides over meetings of the Council. If the Mayor is not present, then the Deputy Mayor will preside at the meeting. The 1972 Act states that the person presiding at a meeting of the Council, i.e. the Mayor, will have a second or casting vote in the event of an equality of votes on any question coming before the meeting.
For example, if two opposing political parties have an equal number of votes on an issue, then the Mayor's votes are very important as they carry the decision-making power.
However, it has been a tradition within local government that the office of Mayor should be impartial, particularly in relation to sensitive political issues. However, this convention is often challenged, particularly in Councils where there is no overall control by one political party. The Mayor is a respected office and it is a long held belief that this office should be seen to be "above politics", as far as possible. It is the Mayor's duty to ensure that Council meetings are conducted in a proper manner and in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1972 and the Council's Standing Orders (the Council's own set of rules).
Selection of the Mayor
The Council elects a Mayor and Deputy Mayor from amongst its councillors at the Annual Meeting which is held in May. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor hold office for one year. The convention within Rushcliffe has been for the Mayor Elect to be appointed to the office of Deputy Mayor in the preceding Mayoral year, giving the opportunity for the Mayor Elect to gain some experience in deputising for the Mayor, prior to taking up office. The Council is, however, not bound by this convention and can elect any Councillor to the office of Mayor at the Annual Meeting.
Conduct of meetings
It is the duty of the Mayor to ensure Council meetings are conducted in a seemly manner. Mayors must become fully conversant with the rules of debate as contained within the Council's Standing Orders and the Council's Chief Executive will advise the Mayor at Council meetings where any question is raised. For example, the Mayor may rule that a point of order or a personal explanation is not open to discussion. The ruling of the Mayor is final at a meeting and not open to challenge.
During the Mayor's year of office, the Mayor will host a number of civic functions, including the civic service and civic dinner, and various receptions for representatives of local voluntary groups, businesses etc.
In addition, the Mayor will be invited to a wide range of functions by outside organisations both local and countywide. The Mayor considers each invitation and decides whether it is proper to attend. In the Mayor's absence, the Deputy Mayor may attend on the Mayor's behalf.
The Mayor should not be seen to be supporting any particular local group in sensitive areas which may lead to criticism, nor is it proper for the Mayor to show undue favouritism for one local group over another, with the exception of indicating support for a particular group through the Mayor's Charity Appeal.
In the handbook of practice and procedure entitled "Civic Ceremonial", advice is given on the question of the Mayoral right to precedence within the Borough. The handbook suggests that the "most efficient and most capable Mayor is the one who, with tact and courtesy, insists on due regard being paid to the dignities of his/her office" and quotes illustrations of protocol such as being presented on a Royal visit to the Borough, order of seating arrangements, receiving guests etc. The Mayor's secretary advises each Mayor on matters of protocol and precedence when accepting Mayoral invitations and when going to or hosting functions.
The Mayor must be ready to take the lead in all matters which concern the life of the Borough, but care must be taken to ensure that undignified situations do not occur. The Mayor should only give patronage to local organisations when he/she is sure of its bona fides and importance to the Borough. The Mayor should, during the term of office, be as near as possible impartial on all matters, in particular party politics and sectarian matters.
Chain of office
The chain of office worn by the Mayor is to signify his or her position - indeed, on a humorous note, a group of Mayors may be referred to affectionately as "the Chain Gang". All Mayors will have a chain of office, but some will have other insignia including a mace or robes of office. The present Rushcliffe badge of office, which incorporates the Council's coat of arms, was purchased by public donation.
Role of the Mayor's consort
In law there is no position of Mayoress or Mayor's consort within the Borough. Quite obviously, the accepted term Mayoress relates to the wife or female consort of the Mayor. The term "Mayor's Consort" would normally refer to the husband or male companion of a Lady Mayor. The Mayoress or Mayor's consort will normally accompany the Mayor to outside functions, but on no occasion should they attend a function on behalf of the Mayor - on these occasions the Deputy Mayor would normally attend.
The Council does not have a civic car and civic transport is provided in one of three ways - the Mayor uses his/her own transport, the use of a hired civic car, or the Mayor's Secretary provides transport. The Council grants a personal allowance each year to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to meet any incidental out of pocket expenses during the year of office.
The Mayor's charity
During his or her year of office, the Mayor normally supports a local charity or organisation. Outside organisations and individuals often organise fundraising activities in support of this charity appeal.
Mayors of Rushcliffe
Since its inception in 1974, the Mayors of Rushcliffe have been:
- 1974/75 Councillor James (Jim) A Swanwick - Freeman of the Borough (Obit)
- 1975/76 Councillor Mrs Joyce M E Dixon (Obit)
- 1976/77 Councillor Arthur S White (Obit)
- 1977/78 Councillor Horace H Sanders (Obit)
- 1978/79 Councillor Peter J Curry (Obit)
- 1979/80 Councillor Mrs Kathleen M Harvey (Obit)
- 1980/81 Councillor Fred Goodchild (Obit)
- 1981/82 Councillor Mrs Freda M Howard (Obit)
- 1982/83 Councillor Frederick (Doug) D Hobson (Obit)
- 1983/84 Councillor Mrs Margaret Woodward (Obit)
- 1984/85 Councillor George (Eric) E Green - Freeman of the Borough (Obit)
- 1985/86 Councillor Mrs Cicely W Whiting
- 1986/87 Councillor Alvyn R Taylor (Obit)
- 1987/88 Councillor Leonard Cottingham (Obit)
- 1988/89 Councillor Michael E Adlington (Obit)
- 1989/90 Councillor Mrs Margaret (Marie) M Males
- 1990/91 Councillor Peter S Lawson (Obit)
- 1991/92 Councillor Reg Gardner (Obit)
- 1992/93 Councillor Ray Rodwell (Obit)
- 1993/94 Councillor Edward J Bonham (Obit)
- 1994/95 Councillor Mrs Joyce M E Dixon (Obit)
- 1995/96 Councillor Ray Cook - Freeman of the Borough (Obit)
- 1996/97 Councillor Alfred H Cooper
- 1997/98 Councillor John (Geoff) G Kelk
- 1998/99 Councillor Peter Smith
- 1999/00 Councillor Basil A Nicholls
- 2000/01 Councillor Roy H Butler
- 2001/02 Councillor Thomas (David) D S Barlow (Obit)
- 2002/03 Councillor James (Eddie) E Fearon
- 2003/04 Councillor David G Bell
- 2004/05 Councillor Bryan Tansley
- 2005/06 Councillor Mrs Maureen Stockwood
- 2006/07 Councillor John A Cranswick (Obit)
- 2007/08 Councillor Mrs Christine E M Jeffreys
- 2008/09 Councillor Leslie (Barrie) B Cooper
- 2009/10 Councillor Peter F McGowan
- 2010/11 Councillor Mrs Margaret (Marie) M Males
- 2011/12 Councillor Gordon S Moore
- 2012/13 Councillor Irving I Korn
- 2013/14 Councillor Brian R Buschman
- 2014/15 Councillor Ron Hetherington