Mayor position should be retained along with 'silver assets' if Northampton Borough Council is dissolved

A new report has placed importance on keeping the town’s civic artefacts and retaining the role of the mayor if a new town council is formed for Northampton.

Friday, 10th May 2019, 5:58 pm
The position of mayor, and artefacts associated with it such as the ceremonial mace, should be preserved in Northampton should the council be dissolved argue councillors
The position of mayor, and artefacts associated with it such as the ceremonial mace, should be preserved in Northampton should the council be dissolved argue councillors

A reorganisation of local government is on the cards that is likely to see Northampton Borough Council dissolved next year, to be replaced by a new unitary authority council that would merge with Daventry and South Northants.

With that, and the change of councillors and ward boundaries, also comes the question of civic roles such as the town’s mayor, and where it would stand after the shake-up.

A scrutiny panel on the council has for the last few months considered how the ‘pride and history’ of the borough and the Guildhall can be preserved and enhanced as part of any new unitary authority.

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Discussions included a debate on what could potentially happen to items such as the council’s ceremonial mace, which councillors heard dates back to the 17th century and is estimated to cost £250,000 as a minimum. The mace is carried before the mayor at ceremonial events and full council meetings.

And a draft report with the findings, to be discussed on Monday (May 13), reveals some of its findings.

The panel chairman Councillor Brian Sargeant writes: “The Scrutiny Panel emphasised that both the Mayoralty and Civic tradition is very important within the town. The Mayoralty should be retained at the Guildhall. The Scrutiny Panel felt that a Charitable Trust could be set up for the Mayoralty.

“There is a need to ensure that the Mace is retained in Northampton’s Museum, in the borough and that all silver assets are made secure."

The first Mayor of Northampton was William Tilley back in 1215 and current Mayor Tony Ansell is the 778th person to fulfil the role. When appointed next week, Councillor Nazim Choudary could become the final person to fill the role.