May 17, 2019 2.17 pm This story is over 30 months old

Local Democracy Weekly: The value of the mayor

Charity work, welcoming guests and opening businesses among duties

The Mayor is a historic and traditional role in several districts across Lincolnshire, but is this a role for a modern day?

Many today argue the historically-important figurehead is a relic of the past. In a day and age where money is tight, they say, the role – with all its rich adornments, and supporting civic party, travel etc – is outdated, too expensive and that money could go elsewhere.

Proponents however, say the Mayor is a representative of the city – a walking advertisement. But not only that, it is a voice through which the residents can thank those who bring benefit to their homes.

They are supposed to be politically-unbiased (though some would argue whether that’s the case or not since they are councillors) and often chair meetings of the councils similar to the House of Commons’ speaker.

Mayors also often raise money for charities, both their own choice and helping those whose events they attend.

Last year, Lincoln’s mayor Keith Weaver went to 250 events ranging from the anniversaries of the Royal Air Force and First World War to opening Boultham Park and city businesses, attending sports events, welcoming guests from afar and even visiting schools, care homes and other organisations.

When we spoke to new Mayor of Lincoln Sue Burke at her swearing in on Tuesday, she told me: “The value of the mayor is recognising the richness of the City of Lincoln. I believe people like their mayor to be there because it is something that fills them with pride — we are proud to be Lincoln.

To have someone to represent them and recognise the joy of the city and the work its residents is important to celebrate.

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