The Mayor is the First Citizen and The Queen’s representative in the Borough and as such he takes precedence over all other citizens in the Borough. The only exception to this rule is when Royalty or the Lord Lieutenant are visiting the Borough. The Office of Mayor dates back as far as AD 451. The title is derived from the French, “Monsieur le Maire” and before that it probably originated from the Latin “Major”.
Local authorities which have been granted Borough status by the Crown have no more powers than ordinary District Councils, but the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Borough Councils have the right to be styled “Mayor” and “Deputy Mayor”.
In his role as the civic head of the Borough, the Mayor represents the Borough at all civic ceremonial events. At major civic events, such as ceremonies relating to the granting of the Freedom of the Borough, he wears his Robe and Chain and Badge of Office and is preceded by the Macebearer with the Mace. On other occasions he will wear his Chain and Badge of Office but for the majority of the functions he attends he wears his Badge of Office on a ribbon. It is the Badge that is the symbol of his authority.
During his term of Office the Mayor will attend about 400 engagements, possibly more. These range from meeting Royalty, visiting other local authorities, various events in partnership with the Military, ceremonial and social, visiting schools, welcoming overseas visitors, opening fêtes, supporting charity event, etc. It is encouraging to note that the public look forward to welcoming the Mayor at their various events and the number of engagements performed by the Mayor steadily increases every year.
The Mayor also chairs full meetings of the Council in accordance with Standing Orders, and conducts the meeting in a fair and impartial manner. He is formally appointed to the Office at the first meeting of the Council in the Municipal Year. This meeting is more of a ceremonial event and is normally referred to as “Mayor-making”. As Mayor, he cannot be a Member of the Cabinet, although he may be a Member of any of the Council’s standing committees and policy and review panels but only in his capacity as an ordinary Member of the Council.