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Historic election of city council’s final lord mayor

A DYNASTY dating back to the 13th Century reached an historic landmark in Chester last week.

Historic election of city council’s final lord mayor

A DYNASTY dating back to the 13th Century reached an historic landmark in Chester last week.

Cllr Brian Bailey (Con, Christleton) was elected as Chester City Council’s last lord mayor as the council held its final annual meeting before it is abolished next April.

Cllr Bailey, who polled the highest personal vote in the recent elections to the new Cheshire West and Chester Council and the second highest in Cheshire, ends a line of city mayors thought to date back to William the Clerk in 1229.

At least one has been murdered and a number have died in office.

A vast range of trades have held the office, from an ironmonger to a retired chief constable. A knight first occupied the position in 1241.

Following the reformation, no Roman Catholic was elected mayor until 1959.

Hoole Groves councillor David Hull (Lib Dem) was elected sheriff with Vicars Cross councillor Paul Cheetham (Lib Dem) as deputy lord mayor.

The council also agreed arrangements to preserve the city’s historic and ceremonial rights, traditions and privileges under the new authority.

The district’s 27 unitary councillors are to become charter trustees who would elect a lord mayor, sheriff and deputy for the district each year.

Chester district’s city status will be protected, together with rights including the armorial bearings, honorary freeman and the Freemen and Guilds.

A report by managing director Chris Hardy hints that Chester’s city status might one day apply to the whole of Cheshire West and Chester.

Retaining the civic offices would enable members to continue to play an important civic and community role in the city, according to Mr Hardy. The cost would be met by taxpayers.

Cllr Bailey faces the prospect of a retreat from the mayor’s parlour during his year of office.

Renovation work to the town hall may deal with the drips which have plagued his predecessors during wet weather but will make parts of the building unusable.

 

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