Chris Aldred 'humbled and honoured' to be appointed as Harrogate's new charter mayor

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Chris Aldred was appointed the second-ever charter mayor for Harrogate at a meeting this morning.

Mr Aldred is a Liberal Democrat councillor and represents the High Harrogate and Kingsley division on North Yorkshire Council.

The non-political role involves promoting the historic and ceremonial traditions of the Harrogate area during events and occasions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He follows Conservative councillor Michael Harrison who has been charter mayor for the last year.

Chris Aldred has been appointed the second-ever charter mayor for HarrogateChris Aldred has been appointed the second-ever charter mayor for Harrogate
Chris Aldred has been appointed the second-ever charter mayor for Harrogate

Mr Aldred told the meeting the role was good value for money to the taxpayer as it costs 46p a year per household through council tax.

He said: “I feel humbled and honoured to accept the appointment, hopefully it will only be for one year and we’ll have a proper town council and a proper mayor this time next year.”

The charter mayor role is much-reduced from the former Harrogate Borough Council mayor, who attended hundreds of events and functions across the district every year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

By contrast, the charter mayor is expected to attend far fewer meetings with the role being described as “mayor-lite”.

The charter mayor is not entitled to expenses such as a chauffeur driven car that the former Harrogate Borough Council mayor could benefit from.

Although the charter mayor is still entitled to wear chains and civic regalia as worn by previous mayors.

If a Harrogate Town Council is created, it will assume responsibility for the mayoral position from North Yorkshire Council should it want it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It could then decide to allocate more money to a mayoral position that would see its role expanded.

His deputy is fellow Lib Dem councillor Philip Broadbank, who spent time as both mayor and deputy mayor of Harrogate during the 1990s.

Mr Aldred worked in local government across Yorkshire for 23 years in the tourism and arts sectors. He has also worked at Bradford Cathedral, the Army Foundation College and Harrogate Convention Centre.

Last year’s mayor Michael Harrison also addressed charter trustees about his time as mayor. These are the 10 councillors who represent Harrogate.

He said: “It’s been an enjoyable year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I attended some engagements you’d absolutely expect a charter mayor to attend like Remembrance Sunday, events at Stonefall Cemetery and things involving the military.

“There were also other occasions like corporate events at the HCC and I recently visited a resident in care home who turned 100.”