Mayor of Louth Jill Makinson-Sanders says changes should be made to way role is elected
A FIRST-TIME mayor has suggested changes should be made to the way the role is elected.
Louth Town Council has always endorsed a tradition that a mayor should then become the town's deputy mayor the following year.
Most other town councils, such as Horncastle and Skegness, do the opposite in that the person who is to be elected mayor has been the deputy mayor first, gaining experience in the civic role.
This suggestion made by Mayor of Louth Jill Makinson-Sanders was met with criticism from her fellow members who have previously been elected for the civic role.
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She said: "I would like us to look at how we select the mayor but also at having a deputy mayor before becoming mayor.
"I think it would have been helpful to know what I was doing before I became mayor.
"I cannot find anybody else who does it this way."
Councillor Trevor Marris, who has held the role twice, said: "Whenever you speak to other councils they are quite jealous of the way we do it.
"A mayor who becomes deputy can give advice and help and can step in at a function, already knowing what to do. If it is a deputy mayor who has not done it before, we will have a problem."
Councillor Fran Treanor agreed, stating: "It's the mayor's role to set out their own stall."
Another former mayor, Councillor Margaret Ottaway said: "It is common sense. You represent the town, meeting people and knowing about your town.
"We are all right as we are."
Councillors Laura Stephenson and Sue Locking were in favour of changing the format.
Councillor Stephenson said: "For someone who has not been mayor before you are just thrown in the deep end. If it is changed you are ready for the role."
Councillor Locking said: "There are very few councils that do it this way.
"Those who have been mayor in the past and become mayor again, know what is going on and the protocol.
"It is more difficult for someone who has not been mayor before."
The council will further debate this proposal at a future meeting.