Labour councillor Jackie Kirk has been appointed as the City of Lincoln’s 814th Mayor.
She was handed the mantle of the City of Lincoln Mayor from Councillor Sue Burke during a council meeting held at Lincoln Cathedral’s Chapterhouse on Tuesday morning, an unusual setting from the typical Guildhall at the Stonebow, due to COVID-19 social-distancing rules.
Councillor Burke has held the role for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic – the first to do so since the First World War, and Councillor Kirk held the role of deputy mayor during that time.
Jackie Kirk has been a Lincoln councillor for the Glebe Ward since 2012 and has previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service her priorities are mental health amidst the coronavirus pandemic pressures.
She will be the 814th Lincoln Mayor along with her deputy, Councillor Rosanne Kirk who was the Labour candidate for this year’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
The new Mayor says the role is “going to be glorious” and it is an “honour”.
Her predecessor Councillor Sue Burke welcomed Jackie Kirk and congratulated her on becoming the new Mayor, wishing her a “wonderful year”.
New Deputy Mayor Rosanne Kirk says it is a “wonderful privilege to represent the City of Lincoln”.
Labour City of Lincoln Council Leader, Ric Metcalfe says the council have conducted the mayor-making ceremony in a “different fashion” in the cathedral due to social distancing measures but hopes plans will go ahead with a full mayoral inauguration ceremony in July.
In the past, former MP and new Labour county councillor Karen Lee, was the Mayor of Lincoln from 2012 to 2013.
History of Lincoln Mayors
The Mayor of Lincoln role was established in 1206 and its full title is “The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lincoln” – it is the third oldest mayoral position in the country.
They must be impartial, are unable to become involved with political matters during the term, and are responsible for the day-to-day running of local services.
The role is elected annually by the council and carries out ceremonial duties as well as chairing council meetings with a casting vote if there is a tie.
They also have control of the council and can tell members off if they are being too rowdy.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is the first time since World War One where a Mayor has served for two years, with Councillor Burke also being the first woman to serve for more than one term consecutively.
Approximately 14 City of Lincoln Mayors have for served more than a year.
Since the 14th century, the intention was for a Mayor to hold the office for only one year to prevent the holder of the office becoming too comfortable.
Mayors have held the office more than once but not on successive years. From 1314 until 1831, Lincoln did not have anyone holding office for successive years.
From 1831 until 1900, three people held office for two consecutive years.
The most notable holder of the office on successive years was Francis Clark – who donated the Coade stone lion to the Arboretum when it was opened in 1872 – but by the start of the 20th century, Lincoln started to observe the tradition of holding office for one year.
An exception was Charles Thomas Parker, who served as Mayor through World War One, a time of national crisis from 1915 to 1919.