Letter: Mayoralty - Raising the profile of the role

Last week in your newspaper there was an article with regards to a Notice of Motion that I have submitted to Harrogate Borough Council, calling for a review of the Mayoralty.

Sunday, 13th March 2016, 12:00 pm
Harrogate Council building. (140131M1b)

I was surprised to see the article geared towards ‘asking for more powers’. ‘Power’ was not a word I used in any quote, ‘funding’ and ‘functions’ were. I would like to correct and expand on those statements.

In my Notice of Motion I have asked for this review of the Mayoralty because:

l I support the Mayoralty.

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l I would like to review the financing, to make sure we fund the role correctly.

l I would like to raise the profile of the Mayor, especially with our visitors to conference and exhibitions.

l I would like to look at the role and the value to residents, community groups and businesses alike.

It makes sense in any business to look at the value the role offers and see if there are areas for improvement. The role of Mayor offers tradition and ceremony which adds to Harrogate’s heritage and tourism.

There are areas working well, with the Mayor’s Christmas carol service going from strength to strength, year on year, yet there are areas like the Mayor making ceremony and dinner which could be more inclusive of the wider community, such as businesses, volunteers etc.

I will add, there is some confusion out there, at present, in light of the proposed elected Mayors in the new devolved regions.

There are two different roles one ceremonial/civic, as our Mayor is. The other has a political role, which is ‘not’ what our Harrogate Mayor is all about. In summary it’s about the Mayor’s role in the community, not power and politics.

Coun Clare Skardon

Hookstone ward,

Harrogate Borough Council

What do you think?

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