Future Hartlepool mayors could be 'longest serving elected members'

Changes could be made to how Hartlepool's ceremonial mayor is selected to ensure long-serving councillors get the role.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Currently the ceremonial mayor, who also takes the position of chair of council, is appointed following nominations from councillors at the annual meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Yet a request was put towards the latest meeting of the authority’s constitution committee that the appointment be the “longest serving elected member,” excluding any breaks in service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Shane Moore, the current ceremonial mayor, raised the suggestion, arguing it would help “remove the politics” from the position and that other councils in the region have a similar process.

The current ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Shane Moore.The current ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Shane Moore.
The current ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Shane Moore.

He added: “The whole point of the role of the ceremonial mayor is supposed to be non-political and I often think that sometimes in the past when it came to choosing the mayor or chair of council, it often got very political.”

The second longest serving councillor wanting to take the position would then become deputy mayor before taking up the lead ceremonial role the following year, ensuring “continuity.”

Meanwhile, if there was a tie between councillors for longest serving, a vote would be held at full council to select who gets the role.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Brenda Harrison, Labour group leader on the council, voiced concerns over the changes, noting the mayor must also chair full council meetings, which requires different skills.

Read More
Labour Party name Darlington councillor as challenger to Tees Valley Mayor Ben H...

She added: “Just because you’ve been here the longest, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll do the best job.”

The recommendation, which was approved by five votes to three, will now go before a meeting of full council for a decision on whether it is formally adopted.