Bridgend County Borough Council,Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB

Tel: 01656 643643
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Fax: 01656 668126
Email: talktous@bridgend.gov.uk
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Mayoral questions and answers

Is there a difference between a Mayor and a Lord Mayor?

Cities, like Cardiff and Swansea, have a Lord Mayor; County Boroughs like Bridgend have a Mayor.

Can you have a woman as Mayor and a man as Mayoress?

Any councillor of either sex can be elected as Mayor or Deputy Mayor. A male Mayor is addressed as ‘Mr Mayor’, while a female Mayor is addressed as ‘Madam Mayor’.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor appoint their companions. Either a spouse, partner, son, daughter or friend is chosen. If the companions are wives they are referred to as the Mayoress or Deputy Mayoress. If husband, brother or sister is chosen they are called Consort or Deputy Consort.

The Mayor has a special car - does he/she keep it?

No. One car is used by the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor. The Mayor doesn’t drive the car himself but is driven by a chauffeur.
The civic car can also be used by the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive.

Does the Mayor have a bodyguard?

No, but the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are usually chauffeured to their appointments.

How is a Mayor chosen?

A Mayor is always a member of the council, usually with long service, who is invited to stand by colleagues from their political party, and has usually been Deputy Mayor the previous year.

The Mayor is a civic head and thus has no political power but represents the Borough as First Citizen. Bridgend County Borough Council has a Leader and Cabinet style of Executive.

The vote for a new Mayor is taken at the Annual General Meeting of Council, which is traditionally held in May. When there is a clear majority in the Council the candidate can expect to be elected unopposed. However, if there is a hung Council there can be more than one candidate for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and the election result can be very close.

Can a Mayor be in office more than once?

It’s not against the rules, but in Bridgend the Mayor only holds the title for one year.

Does the Mayor run the council?

The Mayor of Bridgend County Borough is a non-political and non-executive role and is thus very different to a directly elected mayor such as the Mayor of London. Bridgend Council is headed by the Leader of the Council and their Cabinet, with scrutiny committees monitoring Cabinet decisions closely.

The Cabinet members decide Council policy and bring their decisions to the Council. The job of the Mayor at council meetings is to Chair the meetings and ensure that each agenda item is debated fairly and that rules of debate for the borough are abided by.

At full council it is unusual for the Mayor to speak on an issue as they need to be impartial. However if necessary they hold the casting vote on issues.

Does the Mayor earn a lot of money?

All councillors receive a basic allowance, but the Mayor receives an additional special allowance set by Council to enable the Mayor/Deputy Mayor to carry out their additional duties.

When does the Mayor wear the chain of office?

The Mayor always wears the chain of office when on official business, unless specifically requested not to.

The Deputy Mayor wears her chain when representing the Mayor.

Past Mayors and Consorts are presented with ‘Past Mayor’ medallions at the end of their year in office. They are entitled to wear their medallions at civic functions and if they are asked to act as the Mayor’s representative at an event.

How busy is the Mayor?

A Mayor’s workload can vary from year to year depending on what’s happening in the borough during the Mayor’s term, their own interests and their own personal circumstances (e.g. if they have a job/if they’re retired/if they have children or other caring commitments). However in recent years Mayors have regularly undertaken in excess of 550 engagements a year. “Engagements” include a mixture of:

  • meetings e.g. chairing full council, charity committee meetings

  • attending citizenship ceremonies for borough residents completing the process of becoming British citizens

  • visits e.g. to borough residents celebrating special wedding anniversaries, or birthdays, schools, hospital wards, residential homes, and day centres at Christmas

  • presenting prizes and awards

  • presenting the Mayor’s Citizenship Awards

  • attending performances and concerts

  • opening newly built or renovated buildings

  • attending local community events

  • civic functions for visiting dignitaries such as members of the Royal Family

  • representing the borough at events held in other areas

What is the Mayor’s Parlour?

The Mayor’s Parlour is a room in the Civic Offices which is used for meeting dignitaries and other guests. In recent years the Mayor has officially welcomed to the Parlour guests from Zambia, Canada, Japan, France, Russia, Sweden, Norway and Ecuador and many other countries.
The Parlour houses a display of gifts selected from the given to the Mayoralty over the years such as commemorative plates, plaques, scrolls and photographs from memorable events such as the Queens Jubilee.

Who helps the Mayor to do his/her job?

As well as the support offered by the Mayoress and Deputy Mayor, the Mayor is supported by the Democratic Services team who run the Mayoral office. There is also the Civic Charity Committee which is independent of the council and works through the year to raise money for the Mayor’s chosen charities.

Last Updated: 13/03/2017
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