Seaham Town Council has elected a new mayor. She is Councillor Mrs Margaret Nugent who has served as a member of the Council for more than 10 years. Margaret, describes herself as "first and foremost a Mam and a Gran to our four daughters, our son and our eight grandchildren." In her inaugural speech to the Town Council and invited guests, Councillor Nugent expressed her pride at becoming the First Citizen of the hometown she loves so much.
The new Mayor will be supported by her husband, Albert, who will take on the traditional title of the "Mayor's Consort". Albert is himself a Durham County Councillor and has previously served on Seaham Town Council.
The couple have a daughter, Margaret, who lives with her husband Colin and family in Perth, Western Australia and was therefore unable to attend the ceremony. "Seaham Harbour Online" have, therefore, urgently prepared these pages so that Margarget, Colin and young Margaret, in Australia, may see photographs of the event "hot off the press."
Photographs by kind permission of Jim Breeze
Link to present Mayor of Seaham
government in England has recently been reviewed. We now have Parish
Councils, Town Councils, District Councils, County Councils, City
Councils, Borough Councils and new Unitary Authorities where the old
District and County Councils have been merged.
Of these, only Town, Borough and City Councils may have a mayor. Many communities may call themselves "Town" but in order to have the right to have a mayor a community must have a population in excess of 20,000 and be recognised by others as a town (rather than just a parish within a bigger community unit). The Town Mayor is the First Citizen of the town.
The term "mayoress" does not describe a lady mayor. The First Citizen is known as the Mayor regardless of whether the person is male or female.
The mayor may choose a partner for the purposes of civic duties. Often the partner is the mayor's wife or husband. A female partner for the mayor is called the "mayoress" (even if the mayor is a lady). A male partner is called the "Mayor's Consort".
At the inauguration ceremony, the mayor is required to sign a formal declaration which, is essentially an oath to serve the town ot the best of his/her ability.
Here is an example of the wording of a Mayor's declaration:
DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE OF MAYOR
I (Name of mayor) having been elected to the Office of Mayor of (Seaham) Town Council hereby declare that I take the said Office upon myself, and will duly and faithfully fulfil the duties thereof according to the best of my judgement and ability.
Dated this ......day of ....................., 1996
This declaration was made and subscribed before me
....................................................Proper Officer of the said Council.
In England the term of office for a mayor is one year though it it not unusual for a person to become mayor on more than one occasion.....remember Dick Whittington.
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