Mayors in England
In England, the offices of mayor and lord mayor have long been ceremonial posts, with few or no duties attached to them. In recent years they have doubled as more influential political roles while retaining the ceremonial functions. A mayor's term of office denotes the municipal year. The most famous example is that of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
See borough status in the United Kingdom for a list of English districts to have a borough charter (and therefore a mayor). The role of the chairman of a district council is exactly the same as the mayor of a borough council, and they have the same status as first citizen, after the Sovereign, in their district, but they are not addressed as mayor.
In England, where a borough or a city is a local government district or a civil parish, the mayor is elected annually by the council from their number and chairs meetings of the council with a casting vote. Where the mayoralty used to be associated with a local government district but that district has been abolished, Charter Trustees may be set up to provide continuity until a parish council may be set up. Where a parish council (whether the successor of a former borough or not) has resolved to style itself a Town Council, then its chairman is entitled to the designation Town Mayor, though in practice, the word Town is often dropped.
In 2000 the Labour government led by Tony Blair passed a local government reform which changed this system somewhat. Several districts in England now have directly elected mayors with real powers and an advisory cabinet to assist them.
Also since 2000, the area of Greater London has had a Greater London Authority headed by the Mayor of London. This is a separate post to the historic and honorific Lord Mayor of London and may be characterised as a strategic, regional, role rather than as anything analogous to previous local government in England.
Currently, 23 cities in England have Lord Mayors:
Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Canterbury, Chester, Coventry, Exeter, Kingston upon Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, the City of Westminster and York.
The Lord Mayors of London and York are styled The Right Honourable, Bristol also uses the honorific although without official sanction.1 All other Lord Mayors, as well as the Mayors of cities and the original Cinque Ports (Sandwich, Hythe, Dover, Romney and Hastings, are styled The Right Worshipful. All other Mayors are styled The Worshipful, though this is in practice seldom used for a Town Mayor. These honorific styles are used only before the Mayoral title and not before the name, and are not retained after the term of office.
A mayor usually appoints a consort, usually a spouse, other family member or fellow councillor. The designated female consort of a mayor is called the mayoress and accompanies the mayor to civic functions. A female mayor is also called mayor, not, as sometime erroneously called, "Lady Mayoress". A mayoress or Lady Mayoress is a female consort of a mayor or Lord Mayor; a male consort of a mayor or Lord Mayor is a Mayor's Consort or Lord Mayor's Consort.
- The Title of Lord Mayor – Use of the Prefix "Right Honourable", The Times, 7 July 1932, p.16
- "Lord Mayor of Bristol". Bristol City Council. Retrieved 26 December 2008.