Plans to split the role of the mayor
6:00pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in Latest News
Claims that an attempt is being made to “discredit” the role of mayor have been dismissed by Devizes Guardians leader Nigel Carter.
The Guardians want to consider the benefits of splitting the mayor’s role as corporate and civic leader.
Since the elections in May, the Guardians have had a majority on the council.
The suggestion was made by Guardians member Ted East at a working party meeting to examine the finance and governance of the authority.
The proposed terms of reference for the working party went back to the town council’s community and civic resources committee last week for ratification, but a number of councillors expressed disquiet.
The minutes of the working party said Conservative councillor Kelvin Nash had “strong reservation” about the idea.
Conservative member Coun Peter Evans sent a note saying the mayoral matter was outside the remit of the working party and should be deleted from the terms of reference.
He believes the intention is to create a leader of the town council while retaining the mayoralty.
His note said: “It appears a very underhand method to try to reduce the provenance of the mayor’s role within this community and I deplore this attempt to discredit this important role in the town.”
Independent Coun Ian Hopkins said: “I have concerns but obviously we have to look at it. Whatever recommendations are made back to this committee I would like the chance for this particular decision to be decided by the full council.”
A vote to agree the terms of reference for the working party was approved by four votes to three. Devizes mayor Pete Smith, who is a Guardians member, was one of those who voted against.
Speaking after the meeting, Coun Carter said: “The intention is not to discredit the role of the mayor. The proposal is to examine the mayor’s commitment in terms of his civic and ceremonial duties and how a slight variation in working habits might be for another senior member of the council to undertake civic duties.”
Comments are closed on this article.