Mayors in England

Mayors in England

In England, the office of mayor or lord mayor had long been ceremonial posts, with few or no duties attached to it. A mayor's term of office denotes the municipal year. The most famous example is that of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Traditionally mayors and provosts have been elected by town, borough and city councils. Since 2000, several districts now have directly elected mayors with extensive powers.

See borough status in the United Kingdom for a list of English districts to have a borough charter (and therefore a mayor). The role of the Chairman of a District Council is exactly the same as the Mayor of a Borough Council, and they have the same status as first citizen, after the Sovereign, in their district, but they are not addressed as Mayor.



In England, where a borough or a city is a local government district or a civil parish, the mayor is elected annually by the council from their number and chairs meetings of the council. Where the mayoralty used to be associated with a local government district but that district has been abolished, Charter Trustees may be set up to provide continuity until a parish council may be set up. Where a parish council (whether the successor of a former borough or not) has resolved to style itself a Town Council, then its chairman is entitled to the designation Town Mayor, though in practice, the word Town is often dropped.

Direct election

In 2000 the Labour government led by Tony Blair passed a local government reform which changed this system somewhat. Several districts in England now have directly elected mayors with real powers and an advisory cabinet to assist them.

Also since 2000, the area of Greater London has had a Greater London Authority headed by a Mayor of London. This is a separate post to the historic and honorific Lord Mayor of the City of London and may be characterised as a strategic, regional, role rather than as anything analogous to previous local government in England.

Lord Mayors

The right to appoint a Lord Mayor is a rare honour, even less frequently bestowed than city status.

Currently, 23 cities in England have Lord Mayors:

Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Canterbury, Chester, Coventry, Exeter, Kingston upon Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, the City of London, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, the City of Westminster and York.


The Lord Mayors of London, Bristol and York are styled The Right Honourable.1 All other Lord Mayors, as well as the Mayors of cities and the original Cinque Ports (Sandwich, Hythe, Dover, Romney and Hastings), are styled The Right Worshipful. All other Mayors are styled The Worshipful, though this is in practice seldom used for a Town Mayor. These honorific styles are used only before the Mayoral title and not before the name, and are not retained after the term of office. The wife or other female consort of a Mayor is called the Mayoress and accompanies the Mayor to civic functions. A female Mayor is also called Mayor, not as sometime erroneously called, "Lady Mayoress". A Mayoress or Lady Mayoress is a female consort of a Mayor or Lord Mayor; a male consort of a female Mayor or Lord Mayor is the Mayor's Consort or Lord Mayor's Consort. A Mayor usually appoints a consort, usually a spouse, other family member or fellow councillor.

^1 The Lord Mayor of Bristol uses the prefix without official sanction.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ The Title of Lord Mayor – Use of the Prefix "Right Honourable", The Times, 7 July 1932, p.16
  2. ^ "Lord Mayor of Bristol". Bristol City Council. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 

External links

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