Harrogate mayor to stay in post for time being as handover ceremony cancelled

Harrogate's mayor will remain in the role for the time being.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 9:33 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 9:36 am

Coun Stuart Martin MBE was due to handover the title to Coun Trevor Chapman on Monday after 12 months in the job.

But Harrogate Borough Council says there will be no change for now because of the coronavirus crisis.

It comes after Coun Martin's wife and mayoress April thanked hospital teams for saving her life after she was rushed into intensive care with coronavirus in March.

The mayor and mayoress of Harrogate, Stuart and April Martin.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Coun Martin said: "I'd like to thank everyone who has left messages and bouquets of flowers at our house for April.

"I'd hate for anyone to go through what April and my family did. It was an awful process, but we were some of the lucky ones."

The council's committee appointments and current deputy mayor Coun Zoe Metcalfe will also remain the same whilst a decision over what should happen in the next 12 months is made.

The post of mayor is normally rotated between councillors every May, with members nominating someone for the job.

It carries no decision-making powers and is normally focused around charity work and attending civic events.

The mayor does, however, chair full council meetings and is expected to remain politically neutral, regardless of the party they were elected to represent.

Coun Martin selected the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service and TASC Madagascar as his chosen charities when he was appointed in 2019.

He will now chair a virtual full council meeting on July 8 after being chosen to continue in the role for the foreseeable future.

"I am absolutely delighted to take up the opportunity again," Coun Martin said.

"I am, however, disappointed for Trevor and his partner who fully deserved to be elected in. But I really do want them to have a good mayoral year and given the current circumstances, it is not really a good time to come in."

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.