- Mayor of Wigan
Mayor of Wigan
Coat of Arms of Wigan Borough Council
Style Madam Mayor Appointer General Assembly of the Wigan Council Term length 1 year Inaugural holder Robert Matthew Lyons Formation 1974 Website Office of the Mayor
The Mayor of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan is the "First Citizen", Chairman of the Wigan Council and elected representative of the Wigan Borough on a national and international level. The Mayor is also the representative in Wigan of the British Monarch (Currently Elizabeth II), and as such plays a primary role in certain civil ceremonies and functions that would normally be completed by the head of state.
Duties of the Mayor and its Origins
The Mayoralty of Wigan goes back to 1246AD when Henry III granted the town its first charter. The Mayor of Wigan as the 'First Citizen' has highest precedence unless a member of the royal family is present. As the elected representative of the borough, the mayor acts as focal point for the community as well as promoting the borough and forging national and international links which includes continuing links with the Mayor of Angers in Western France as the twinned city. The official position of the Mayor and the council includes presideing over the meetings of the council of which if the Mayor is unable to preside at the time, it is the duty of the elected Deputy Mayor to temporarily take his Place. Wigan Town Hall in the centre of Wigan serves as the official location where the Office of the Mayor is located and also serves as the location for meetings of the council in the main chamber. The Town Hall of Leigh is often used by the Mayor and other councillors as a second headquarter.
The position of the Mayor is politically neutral and so even though the Mayor remains Chairman of the Council, the Council assembly elects itself a Leader of the Council who will also chair the Wigan Cabinet. The Office of the Mayor is located in the Wigan Town Hall were the Council Chamber is also located.
When in office, other duties include receiving members of the Royal Family and other state visitors, attending ceremonies and engagements of charities as representative that take place within or out of the borough. The Mayor also leads the service on Remembrance Sunday at the cenotaph of Wigan Town Centre in November.
The current mayor is Councillor Joy Birch who was elected to be the 39th Mayor of Wigan on the 25th May 2011 by a full general assemby of the council, as a member of the Labour Party. Councillor Birch succeeds to the mayoralty following her office as the Deputy Mayor in the previous year.
The Council Assembly also elect a Deputy Mayor as 'Second Citizen' who assists the elected Mayor and Mayoress in their duties. This includes taking part in civil and private events, as well as taking the place of the chairman in council meetings when the Mayor is unavailable to preside. The wife of the deputy mayor would take the office of Deputy-Mayoress of Wigan whilst if a Lady deputy mayor is elected, their husband would be styled the Deputy-Mayors Consort
The current deputy mayor is Councillor Myra Whiteside who was elected on the 25th May 2011 to take up office. Her partner Mr John Hurst assumed the office of the Deputy-Mayors Consort.
The Mayor's chosen charity
By tradition, the Mayor of Wigan may choose a charity they wish to support throughout their year in office by charitable engagements and donations. The chosen charities of the Mayor:
Style, Title and Honours
The Mayor of Wigan is entitled to the style of "The Worshipful" however the style is only used when referring to the office rather than the holder and is not retained after they have left office. The Mayor is referred to in speech as "Mr Mayor" and if a female councillor is in office they are referred to as "Madam Mayor".
The wife of the Mayor is "The Mayoress" and if the Mayor in office is unmarried they may appoint a female consort to take the position of Mayoress (Usually a Fellow Councillor). In speech the Mayoress is referred to as "Mayoress". The husband of a Lady Mayor may be styled as "The Mayors Consort", however they are addressed by their name
The full title of the current Mayor is The Worshipful The Mayor of Wigan Council, Councillor Joy Birch
The current consort of the Mayor is The Mayors Consort, Mr Albert Bradley
The current deputy is The Deputy-Mayor of Wigan, Councillor Myra Whiteside
The current deputy mayors consort is The Deputy-Mayors Consort, Mr John Hurst
List of Mayors of Wigan
# Name Term 1 Robert Matthew Lyons 1974–1975 2 George Macdonald J.P. D.L 1975–1976 3 Joseph Albert Eckersley 1976–1977 4 Thomas Gerard Morgan 1977–1978 5 Leonard Sumner 1978–1979 6 Harry Milligan 1979–1980 7 William Charles Priest France 1980–1981 8 James Bridge 1981–1982 9 Thomas Jones 1982–1983 10 Thomas Isherwood J.P. 1983–1984 11 Peter Hull 1984–1985 12 George Alfred Lockett 1985–1986 13 Jack Sumner J.P. 1986–1987 14 James Jones 1987–1988 15 David Norris Caley J.P. 1988–1989 16 Audrey Bennett 1989–1990 17 Ronald McAllister J.P. 1990–1991 18 John Horrocks J.P. 1991–1992 19 Arthur Wright 1992–1993 20 Joseph Clarke 1993–1994 21 William Stanley Simmons 1994–1995 22 Norman Bernard Holt 1995–1996 23 Anthony Bernard Coyle O.B.E J.P. D.L. 1996–1997 24 Kenneth Pye 1997–1998 25 Samuel Little 1998–1999 26 (part) William Smith J.P. 1999–2000 27 (part) Evelyne Smith 1999–2000 28 Joan Hurst 2000–2001 29 John E. Hilton J.P. 2001–2002 30 Geoffrey Roberts 2002–2003 31 Wilfred Brogan B.E.M 2003–2004 32 John Hilton 2004–2005 33 Brian Jarvis 2005–2006 34 Eunice Smethurst 2006–2007 35 John O'Brien 2007–2008 36 Rona Winkworth 2008–2009 37 Mark Aldred 2009–2010 38 Michael Winstanley 2010-2011 39 Joy Birch 2011 - Present
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