Residents in the former Chester City Council area are set to pay an average of £5.50 a year extra to meet the costs of the city’s figureheads including the Lord Mayor.
The move is due to be implemented from April 2017 when residents from Elton to Malpas and from Farndon to Tattenhall will meet the costs of the three roles of Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Chester, rather than this being covered by residents across west Cheshire.
Based on current expenditure, it is expected that this will cost residents of an average Band D property £5.50 a year.
The office of the Mayor of Chester is thought to date back to 1237, with the status of Lord Mayor being granted by the Queen in 1992. The first reference to a sheriff is in the 1120s and it is thought that Chester was the first English town to have the role.
Following local government reorganisation in 2009, the roles of Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff were transferred to the City of Chester Charter Trustees, which was set up to preserve and protect the city’s historic rights and privileges which would otherwise have been lost.
Now Cheshire West and Chester Council, on behalf of the City of Chester Charter Trustees, wants residents’ views on the future activities of each role.
The current Lord Mayor of Chester, Ellesmere Port Councillor Angela Claydon, said: “I am proud to hold this prestigious role which, like our city, has such a long and fascinating history.
“I feel that the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff can play a very important part in modern life, from supporting local charities and community groups, maintaining historic traditions and being a figurehead for the city to promoting tourism in the Chester area and supporting business and the local economy.
“I hope that residents will take part in the consultation to have their say on what the three roles mean to them.”
As part of the consultation process, primary schools pupils in the area can enter a competition to describe what a day in the life of a 21st century mayor should look like.
Christmas Civic Regalia talks will also be held at Chester Town Hall in December. Admission is £2.50 per person, which will go to the Lord Mayor’s Charities – Countess of Chester Breast Care Trust Fund, Chester Women’s Aid and Chester and Ellesmere Port and Neston Special Olympics.
Visitors will be invited for mulled wine or a soft drink and mince pies in the Parlour afterwards. The Regalia Talks take place from 1.30pm to 3pm on December 7 and from 11am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3pm on December 13. To book a place email: Chestercivic@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk or ring: 01244 972283.
The consultation period closes on January 3. To take part visit: lordmayorchester.co.uk or to request a hard copy of the questionnaire ring: 01244 977701 or 01244 977702 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.