Your Councillors

Enc. 2 for Mayoralty and Civic Ceremony Review

 

 

 

 

 

MAYORAL

INDUCTION

 

 

20165/176

 

 

MAYOR’S PARLOUR

 

 


 

 

INDEX

 

 

Page

2                          Welcome

                            1        Introduction

                            2        Mayor’s Role and Protocol

3                          3        Article 5 of the Constitution

4                          4        Role and Time Commitments

5                          5        Prior to Annual Borough Council

6                          6        Civic Officers

                            7        Wearing of Robes and Use of Regalia

7                          8        Booking of Engagements

8                          9        Mayoral Vehicle

                            10      Mayor’s Parlour

                            11      Civic Events

9                          12      Charity Work

10                        13      Financial Arrangements

                            14      Gifts and Hospitality

                            15      Media

11                        16      Other Support

                            17      Mayor’s Cadets

                            18      End of Mayoral Year

                            19      Past Mayor’s Badge

12                        20      Feedback

 

APPENDICES

13                        1        Organisations/Charities of which Mayor is President, Patron or Trustee

14                        2        Calendar of Events

15                        3        A Small Piece of Local History and History of Regalia


Welcome

 

Congratulations on your nominations as Mayor Elect and Deputy Mayor Elect.

 

As you know, the Mayoralty is the highest honour Maidstone Borough Council can bestow.  As Mayor, you can be a major influence in promoting the image and importance of Maidstone in a regional and national context.

 

The variety of customs, traditions and privileges associated with the Mayoralty stems from our long history of democratic control of local affairs.  It can be easy to forget how important the role of the Mayor is, but the people of Maidstone continue to have the highest regard for their Mayor.

 

We hope you enjoy your year in office and look forward to working with you.

 

 

Introduction

 

1.1     A new Mayor is elected each May and, at the present time, serves for one year only (an exception can be if a Maidstone Borough Council election is moved to coincide with the European election).

 

1.2     The Mayor is a Civic role and in order to be elected Mayor you must be a serving Councillor.

1.3     The current process is that the longest serving Councillor, who has not previously served as Mayor,  who has served for at least 6 years, can be nominated to be Mayor.  A Councillor can become Mayor for a second or more time in the exceptional circumstances that there are no other Councillors that meet the 6 year eligibility criteria, or all other eligible Councillors have declined the opportunity. The Members of Council then vote for his/her election.

1.4     Although as a Councillor he/she will have been elected through his/her political party, the actual role of the Mayor is non-political and the office of the Mayor is not to be used to promote or support any particular political party.

 

1.5     As first citizen of the Borough, the Mayor represents all people living in the area whatever their politics, religion, or ethnic background.

 

1.6     For the Mayoralty to work effectively, it requires everyone to work together and be clear about their roles and responsibilities.  We hope this document will clarify things and be a valuable resource for you to use throughout your Mayoral year.

 

1.7    In addition to this protocol, the Deputy Mayor Elect will be issued with a copy of the Local Government Association’s Councillor workbook entitled ‘Joining the chain gang: preparing for the role of civic mayor’. In this workbook you will find helpful tools for preparing for the role, planning your time, and designing your year in office in order to make an individual contribution to the community alongside supporting the council’s wider work.

 

1.87   We are committed to ensuring that whoever is Mayor and Deputy Mayor can start to undertake their duties straight away and are conscious there may be a lot to take in.  We are keen to deal with any queries you may have and are always at the end of a telephone, and would hope that you will contact us rather than struggle or not understand something.

 

1.9     Each Mayor will bring their own skills to the role. In addition, each Mayor will have areas in which they would like to broaden their knowledge, skills or experience. As the Deputy Mayor Elect, the Democratic Services team can put you in touch with a professional coach to assist you in your learning. They can also help you to secure mentoring from a former Mayor, for specific guidance relating to your role as the civic head of a council.

 

Mayor’s Role and Protocol

 

2.1     The Mayoralty is an ancient tradition and we have provided in Appendix 3 some information about the history of Maidstone.  The Mayor is the First Citizen and as such not only represents the Borough Council but all its citizens in a way that is different to being a Borough Councillor.  There is a lot of prestige associated with the role and people expect that the First Citizen will be shown, and will behave, in a way that deserves the greatest respect.  As such the Mayor should also be afforded specific dignity – they are the Queen’s representative.

 

The Mayor is expected to demonstrate the following qualities:

 

Etiquette – knowing what kind of behaviour is required in a given situation, including knowledge of protocols

 

Deportment – conducting oneself with good manners

 

Chairing – having knowledge of the rules of debate and the confidence to use them, and listening to and acting on Officer’s advice

 

Speaking – having the ability to address a group of people, and prepare a speech for an event

 

Time Commitment – having the ability to grasp the opportunities available throughout the year in the role

 

 

2.2     As First Citizen you will be accorded precedence, but this varies depending on who has initiated the event, who else is in attendance, and the location of the event.  Generally, at all events in Maidstone, you have precedence and should be treated as such, even over any visiting Lord Mayor, Mayor, Town Mayor, Chair or MP.  This only changes if the High Sheriff, Lord Lieutenant or Royalty are in attendance.  The Mayoral team will guide you on these occasions.  If at any time the team feel the office of Mayor is being demeaned, they will discretely advise you to withdraw.

 

2.3     It is important that you respect and value the political neutrality of the post of Mayor and seek to maintain the tradition of the First Citizen being above political controversy.  Becoming Mayor may mean surrendering membership of Borough Council committees and you should not undertake any political canvassing.  Being neutral need not mean you cannot make a forceful, passionate contribution to the issues of the day; the office of Mayor can be used to champion causes and raise the profile of the community and the Borough Council, but it is wise to check with the Mayoral and Communications teams before making a speech on anything that may be thought to be controversial.

2.4     The Mayor chairs the Council meetings and is able to vote, including where appropriate a casting vote. The Democratic Services team will provide you with training in the rules of debate and interpreting the constitution.

 

 

Article 5 of The Constitution – The Mayor

 

3.1     The Mayor and, in his absence, the Deputy Mayor will have no authority to take executive decisions, but will have the following roles and responsibilities:

 

(a)  Symbol of the Council and First Citizen

The Mayor will represent the Council at all civic and ceremonial events.

              The Mayor is the symbol of the Council and the official representative of the Crown taking precedence in the Borough over all others except Royalty or the Queen’s representative, the Lord Lieutenant.

(b)  The Council Meeting

     The Mayor will preside at meetings of the full Council promoting the efficient dispatch of business and due observation of the requirements of the Constitution and, in particular, the Council Procedure Rules, have due regard to the rights of Councillors and the interests of the Public.

     The Mayor in chairing the Council will seek to ensure that it is a forum for the debate of matters of concern to the local community. and the place at which Members who are not of the Executive are able to hold the Executive to account.

(c)  Promoting the Borough

              To promote the Borough as a place to live, a place to visit, and a place for business enterprise.

 

              To promote the qualities of the Borough for the benefit of all its citizens.

(d)  Representing the Council

              The Mayor will act as an Ambassador promoting the Council’s good name and services at home and elsewhere and representing all the people of Maidstone Borough.



(e)  Community Engagement

              To be attending as a visual presence, listening to and engage with community at large.

 

              To attend at, by invitation, various organisations including supporting the Voluntary Bodies.

 

 

Role and Time Commitments

 

4.1     The Mayor (and Deputy) can assign as many (or few) hours as they can or /wish to Mayoral duties.  In addition to chairing Council throughout the year, the Mayor’s core civic events are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Making and Civic Parade and Service

21 May 2016

Court of Survey Cruise

2 July 2016

Mayor’s Garden Party

27 July 2016

Remembrance Sunday

13 November 2016

 

 

          The Mayor may make a choice regarding other events, and is encouraged to develop a theme for the year, however the Mayor should attempt to attend as many engagements as s/he is capable of. Outside of the Mayor’s capacity events can be delegated to the Deputy Mayor.  

 

4.2     It is helpful to let the Mayor’s PA know of any private engagements as soon as possible so that they can be blocked in the Mayoral diary.

 

4.32   Most years the Mayor and Deputy attend between 300-400 engagements, with the Mayor doing around 75% of them.  The numbers of invitations vary during the year, with January and February being slow months whereas the summer months are much busier.  Weekends also tend to be busier than weekdays.  Most Mayors do not take holidays during their year, but the Mayor’s PA will obviously honour any time off that you may have already booked.

 

4.43   All official engagements must come through the Mayoral office – an official engagement is an invitation for the Mayor (or Deputy Mayor if the Mayor is unavailable) to attend specific events, openings etc. as the Borough’s representative.  We particularly ask that no invitations are accepted when you are “out and about”.  Please refer everyone to the Mayor’s PA so that they can properly check the diary and contact the organiser.

4.54   Most engagements will invite the Mayor and Mayoress (or Deputy Mayor and Mayoress) but the Mayoress (Deputy Mayoress) does not have to attend.  The Mayor (Deputy Mayor) can take another escort, although it is useful to have the name beforehand to make sure the organisers announce and address them correctly.

 

4.65   The Deputy Mayor is not invited to engagements in their own right; the Deputy’s role is only to deputise for the Mayor if he cannot go.  It is the Mayor’s prerogative to offer engagements to the Deputy or decline them altogether.  There are a few occasions when the Deputy does attend along with the Mayor – Borough Council meetings, Dedication, and your own charity events.

 

4.76   Your Mayoress/Deputy Mayoress/Consort will need to be as well informed about engagements, protocol and key objectives as you are.  Whist they are not officially a representative of the Borough Council, they do have a responsibility to uphold the dignity of the Mayoralty.  There are no legal powers to support their position and, as such, they are therefore not entitled to attend engagements in their own right.

 

4.87   Whilst it is tempting to seek invitations to places and organisations that you may like, or have links with, it is to be remembered that it could be seen to undermine the dignity of the position of Mayor to seek invitations and this should be avoided in all circumstances.

 

4.97   There will be a lot of correspondence about engagements going between you and the Mayor’s PA, including copies of the engagement sheets so that you know what you have been invited to and the reason.  We are conscious that this will need you to be very well organised and maintain a personal diary so that you know where you are going to be and at what time the chauffeurs will pick you up.

4.108 The Mayoral car and Civic Officer (CO) can only be used for official engagements. The car is available to take the Mayor and Mayoress (or Deputy Mayor and Mayoress if applicable) to an official engagement – the car will return the Mayor and Mayoress (or Deputy Mayor and Mayoress) to their home or venue of their choice, the use of the car and CO finishes at the end of the engagement.

4.119 Where appropriate, the Mayoral Chain can be used at all official engagements within the Borough.  The Mayoral Chain and badge and Mayoress’ badge are kept in the safe at the Town Hall when not being worn by the Mayor and Mayoress.

 

 

 

4.120 For engagements outside of the Borough the Mayor’s PA must request permission from the appropriate Borough, Town or City for the wearing of chains or badges of office.

 

4.131 Any Mayor’s visiting our Borough must apply for permission to wear chains/badges when attending engagements etc.

 

4.142 On all engagements there should be a dedicated person to receive and escort the Mayor and Mayoress, if this is not the case then the CO’s or Mayor’s PA will escort the Mayor and Mayoress.

 

4.153 The CO’s are given clear guidelines and times for ensuring the Mayor arrives at engagements in a timely manner.

4.164 Wherever possible engagements within the Borough should take precedence to those outside of the Borough.

 

4.175 There are several local organisations for which the Mayor is President, Patron or an ex-officio trustee.  The usual demand on the Mayor is to attend meetings if the official diary allows.  The full list is available in Appendix 1.

 

 

Prior to Annual Borough Council

 

5.1     As soon as possible after your nomination by the Group, the Mayor’s PA will need some biographical details and statements about you and your year in office.  These are primarily used on the Borough Council’s web site and within the press release for Annual Borough Council. 

 

5.2     The Mayor’s Chaplain traditionally offers spiritual guidance to the Mayor and is invited to attend Borough Council meetings to say a short prayer prior to the meeting.  For many years the vicar of All Saints Church has undertaken the role of Chaplain to the Mayor but you are able to appoint a Chaplain of your choice for spiritual guidance during your year.  The Mayor’s Chaplain will be invited to attend a number of other civic events during the year such as the Court of Survey Cruise, Armed Forces Day, the Garden Party, and Remembrance Sunday. 

 

5.3     Photographs will be taken at the Annual Meeting in the Beauvais Room and it is sensible to have a selection of shots taken in and out of robes and with/with out the Mayoress/Consort.  The images are available for you to choose your official image to be used on the Borough Council’s web site and also hung in the entrance to the Mayor’s Parlour.

 

5.4     Some thought needs to go into your clothing.  The Chains of Office are heavy and will snag finer/lighter fabrics.  Although we can use small safety pins on your shoulder seams to hang the chains, many Mayors opt to sew thread loops on the shoulder seam, as opposed to using the safety pins.  Female Mayors and Mayoress’ will want to think about adding jackets to their outfits and avoiding strapless dresses for evening functions.

 


 

 

Civic Officer (CO’s)

 

6.1     There are two Civic Officers (CO’s) who are often referred to as chauffeurs.    Their hours include the time to get to the garage from home to pick up the Mayoral car and get to the Mayor’s house, and the reverse journey after an event.  We would ask that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are mindful about not staying at functions too late into the evening/early morning if there is an early start the next day.

 

6.2     There may be times when the Mayor’s PA asks you to consider regretting an invitation because driving hours are already high, or CO’s are not available.  On these occasions, another option is to self-drive or take a taxi but that means no chains can be worn, although you may wear the Badge.

 

6.3     The CO’s act as your personal attendants while you are at engagements; they will introduce you to the organisers and, if need be, get you refreshments.  At most events once you have been greeted by the Organiser, the Organiser will look after you and you will need to indicate to the CO when you wish to leave.  On civic occasions the CO’s will act as Macebearer and Mayor’s Marshall. 

 

6.4     The CO’s will make all the necessary arrangements for making sure you get to the engagements you have accepted, including letting you know what time they will pick you up. Whilst they will have built in time to allow for any traffic delays we would ask that you are ready at the time they indicate they are coming because they will have to dress you in the chains before departing which will take some time.  They have a wealth of experience and can be relied on to know the necessary protocols about the precedence of the Mayoralty.  They will politely suggest any action they feel necessary should they feel you, as the Mayor, are not being afforded the dignity and respect due.  You will come to rely on them particularly in the first few months when you may be unsure about attending events and they will be discreet and professional at all times.  They can be trusted completely to maintain confidentiality of information they may hear during conversations in the car or elsewhere.

 

6.5     The CO’s will have calculated how long it will take to get to an event, and will always stick to the appropriate speed limit.  We would ask that you respect this and do not encourage them to try to get to an event or home earlier, by breaking the law.  They are personally liable for any speeding or parking fine incurred and this could cause negative publicity if it became public knowledge.

 

6.6     Because you will be spending so much time with the chauffeurs, it is important that they know of any health or medical issues in case they need to seek medical assistance in an emergency.  Please do tell us, in complete confidence, if you have to regularly take medication for example.   Equally, if you have any food preferences, allergies or intolerances, the Mayor’s PA needs to know so that she can always ensure you get the right meal at events. 

 

 

Wearing of Robes and Use of Regalia

 

7.1     Your Chain of Office is the symbol of continuity of the Mayoralty and your status as First Citizen, and it is expected that you will wear the Chain within Maidstone for all official engagements.  There are some exceptions when the wearing of the Badge of Office is unnecessary, for example, an organiser may request you do not wear the Badge for your safety, e.g. when visiting a prison or if you are going to be afloat on the water or taking part in an activity.

 

7.2     Unless express permission has been granted, out of deference to the Royalty, the wearing of Chains of Office within Royal Palace’s is strictly prohibited.  Please note this does include the Palace of Westminster.

 

7.3     Generally robes are only worn on civic occasions, particularly when the Mace is in attendance (although the Mayor may chose to wear robes when visiting primary and junior schools).  At all other times only the chain is worn.

         

7.6     The Mayoral/civic regalia are worth a lot of money and are obviously also of historical value, the history of the regalia is given in Appendix 4.  For insurance purposes the regalia such as badges, chains and mace must be securely kept locked away in the Town Hall safe when not in use.

 

 

Booking of Engagements

 

8.1     The Mayor’s PA is normally in the office between 8.30am and 5pm and attends most charity and civic events.  They will open the post and emails on a daily basis and look at all incoming invitations.  They will check to see what existing engagements there might be and then communicate to the Mayor what has come in, what clashes if any, and ask if the Mayor wants to accept, offer to the Deputy, or decline.  At this point we may not know all the details of the event.  Once an invitation has been accepted the Mayor’s PA will send the Organiser a questionnaire to complete that should provide all the information we need to ensure we get the Mayor to the right place at the right time and confirm who will be looking after the Mayor during the event.  Despite best endeavours we do not always receive completed questionnaires, although the Mayor’s PA will chase as much as they can.

 

8.2     If the Mayor’s PA receives an invitation that looks like it might be for all Borough Councillors, rather than just the Mayor, or might relate to a ward issue, she will check with the organisers and forward it to the Mayor appropriately.  On those occasions that it is not a Mayoral invitation, the Mayoral vehicles and staff will not be available.

 

8.3     We would suggest the Mayor comes to an agreement with the Mayor’s PA about how they want to communicate and how often – a weekly meeting in the Parlour or a daily or weekly email of everything that has come in, for example.

 

8.4     The Mayor’s engagements for the forthcoming week are confirmed by way of an engagement sheet that is issued each Friday.  It is copied to various people within the Borough Council including the press office and circulated to the local papers.

 

8.5     Once the chauffeurs have received this sheet they will make their own arrangements for doctors’ appointments, shopping etc.  We monitor the number of engagements that are accepted after the engagement sheets have been issued and would ask for some understanding about asking the chauffeurs to change their personal arrangements for a ‘late’ engagement.  As mentioned already, there is an option of a ‘self-drive’ in the Mayor’s own car with the Mayor’s badge rather than chains. 

 

8.6     If the Mayor/Deputy Mayor would like to send thank you letters to organiser(s), the Mayor’s PA has a standard letter that can be printed, or alternatively please provide either by dictation or e-mail your preferred words and they will be printed onto letterhead and passed to you for your signature.  Please note that letters are not sent automatically following each event – they are only produced on your instruction.

 


Mayoral Vehicle

 

9.1     The Mayoralty has one car that is garaged in the basement of The Mall.  The CO’s will regularly clean the car and have a programme of regular servicing etc, but will always make sure the car is available at all times.

9.2     The flag on the Mayoral car can only be flown when the Mayor is in the car and should be affixed on arrival to collect the Mayor and removed when returning the Mayor at the end of an engagement.  On longer journeys to engagements outside of the Borough the flag should be affixed at an appropriate place before arriving at the engagement.  The flag is not flown when driving on the motorway.

9.3     The Mayor should always be invited to enter the car first and then the Mayoress or any guests; on arrival at the venue the CO’s should open the door for the Mayor to alight first and then proceed to open the door for the Mayoress or any guests.  The only time the Mayor would not take precedence would be if a member of the Royal family or their representative e.g. the Lord Lieutenant, were present.  The Mayoress or guest should be asked to remain in the car until the Mayor has alighted.

 

9.2     The CO’s have official work mobile phones so that you can keep in contact, and these will be in the car as required.  For your comfort, it is possible to leave a small vanity bag in the car with emergency medication and light toiletries in case of emergencies whilst you are out.

 

9.3     If the Mayor or Deputy Mayor require that a guest or Borough Councillor colleague/officer shall share their journey, then this is perfectly acceptable as long as it does not impact on the chauffeur’s hours, or the ability to arrive at a Mayoral event on time.  

 

9.4     Being seen in the Mayoral chauffeur-driven car is a particularly visible use of public funds and is therefore susceptible to criticism.  It is therefore important that the cars are used properly at all times.  It is not normal practice for the official car to be used to undertake unofficial functions, such as personal shopping between official engagements.  We expect seat belts to be worn at all times while in the vehicle and smoking is not permitted. 

 

The Mayor’s Parlour

 

10.1   The Mayor’s Parlour is in the Town Hall and can be used by the Mayor for small meetings and for weekly meetings with the Mayor’s PA.  The Mayor’s PA can arrange tea and biscuits but we do not have sufficient budget to provide anything more substantial like cakes or sandwiches on a regular basis.  There is a telephone line available for the Mayor’s convenience. 

 

Civic Events

 

11.1   There are a number of key civic events during the year where the Mayor’s attendance is required, and they are automatically put in the Mayoral diary as tentative engagements.  Some are organised by the Mayor’s PA (i.e. Mayor Making and Civic Parade and Service, Garden Party, Remembrance Sunday) and some are organised in partnership with external organisations, i.e. Court of Survey Cruise, Armed Forces Day, and QOB’s service of Remembrance and St Georges Day.  The full list can be found at Appendix 2.

 

11.2   During the Mayor Making civic event it is customary for the Mayor to make use of a carriage exhibited at Maidstone Carriage Museum. This however will be dependent upon the ease with which the carriage can be removed from the Museum, the availability of horses to draw the carriage, and the risk of damage being caused to the carriage by poor weather.

 

11.32 Before any major event, the Mayor’s PA will brief the Mayor/Deputy Mayor to advise arrangements including refreshments, greeting of guests, speeches etc. and to discuss any changes the Mayor wishes to make.  The purpose of the briefing is to ensure that sufficient time is given to implement any such changes without affecting the overall effect.  It should be noted that Annual Council/Mayor Making and Civic Parade and Service are our primary civic events.


 

 

The Mayor’s Charity Work

 

12.1   Once a decision has been made about the charities that will be supported, the Mayor’s PA will need their charity registration number and other details so that she can make contact, and more importantly, put their details on the web pages.  When selecting your charities to support, it is normal for the charities chosen to be for the benefit of the public and principally for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Maidstone area.  In the case of national charities, it should be the Maidstone branch which receives the funding.

 

12.2   The Borough Council provides support to the charities in the form of the support of the Mayor’s PA, the financial accountant and other items like postage, stationery etc that are not charged to the charity.  Whilst the Mayor’s PA will publicise charity events by way of the existing email list and displaying posters etc, it is not their role to chase people directly to encourage them to attend, or to make donations of raffle prizes etc.  The success of any individual charity event and the overall amount of money collected will rest on the extent to which the Mayor, Mayoress, Deputy Mayor and Mayoress can rely on their friends, relations and other contacts to make their own contribution.

 

12.3   Much of the support for the Mayors charity events comes from other Mayors and it is expected that there will be mutual support.  Mayors from as far afield as Havering regularly attend.  Therefore it is expected that the Mayor of Maidstone will return the visit. 

 

12.4   The existing emailing list comprises past Mayors, ex-Borough Councillors and others who have supported the Mayoralty over a long period of time, but the support of the Mayor/ Deputy to get their friends and relatives involved is vital.  To save costs and staff resources it is preferred that we do not send out mailings in the post if at all possible and email is the preferred resource.

 

12.6   The other key events that take place during the year are those designed to raise money for the charity/charities that you have decided to support.  The Mayor’s PA has a lot of experience of organising events generally and can advise on the sorts of events that gain a lot of support, and will be happy to discuss any new ideas you may have.  The charity events have to cover their own costs, and whatever is made above that is forwarded to the charities at the end of the Mayoral year.  The Mayor’s PA is responsible for maintaining accounts showing the income and expenditure for each event in accordance with the Borough Council’s financial rules.

 

12.7   The Mayor’s PA needs at least six weeks to organise an event from scratch and it must be considered this will be at the same time as organising civic events and managing the Mayoral diary and Town Hall etc.  Therefore it is almost impossible to organise more than one event a month, particularly in April for example, when traditionally the Mayor’s Ball is held, which is the main showcase event, and it is recommended that no more than five charity events are organised in a Mayoral year.

 

12.8   One of the last duties you will perform will be to present the proceeds from your charity work to your nominated charities.  The charity account cannot be closed until Annual Borough Council, but once audited, the Mayor’s PA will then advise you how much has been raised and ask your guidance on how it is to be donated.  The Mayor’s PA will normally organise a low-key event in the Parlour for you to host your charities and present the cheques.

 


 

Financial Arrangements

 

13.1   The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are eligible to receive separate annual allowances which are currently £2000 and £800 respectively.  They are taxable and subject to NI contributions.

 

13.2   These allowances are intended to meet the sorts of expenses incurred in being Mayor/Deputy Mayor, such as clothing, donations, purchase of raffle tickets and drinks, that can be significant throughout the year.

 

13.4   The Mayoral allowance is currently £6,000 and is intended to cover the cost of Mayoral events organised during the year.  However, the Mayor’s PA will keep you informed of the expenditure within the Mayoral Allowance during the year.  It is not possible for any further funds to be made available to the allowance and if the expenditure exceeds the allowance the Mayor will have to meet the cost personally.  However, the Mayor’s PA will work with you to ensure that this does not happen unless you wish it to.

 

 

Gifts and Hospitality

 

14.1   In terms of gifts and hospitality, when you attend engagements, it may be that gifts are offered to the Mayor or Deputy Mayor.  These gifts are usually retained in the Parlour for the benefit of all visitors in the future.  They are not gifts presented to you individually, unless that is made clear at the time.  The Mayor is personally responsible for all decisions connected with the acceptance or offer of gifts or hospitality and for avoiding the risk of damage to public confidence in local government.  Like all elected members, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are required to declare the offer or receipt of gifts or hospitality valued at over £50. 

 

14.2   The Mayor or Deputy Mayor may retain for his/her own use the following:-

·           Personal gifts [e.g. giftware dedicated in some way to the present Mayor or Deputy Mayor – this can either be retained or in some case displayed in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall].

·            Flowers

·            Perishable foods

·            Small boxes of confectionary

The following should be handed to the Mayor’s PA for use as prizes in raffles to raise funds for the Mayor’s charities:-

·           All wines and spirits

·           Larger boxes of confectionary, biscuits etc.

·           Any gifts not personalised which could be used to raise funds for the charities

 

14.2   The Mayor’s PA is responsible for safekeeping of some low value gifts to give visitors and will sometimes purchase something of higher value when required for a specific visit. 

 

14.3   All hospitality deemed to be over the value of £25 must be declared (e.g. dinners, sports events, concerts etc. where the Mayor/Escort/Deputies are not asked to pay).

 

Media

 

15.1   All contact with the media should be channelled through the Head of Communications, even if you are approached directly, and they will offer advice about how to handle issues that arise. 

 


Other Support

 

16.1   In terms of other support, we can arrange for help with speechwriting and research on specific subjects and the Mayoral team will attend civic and charity events.  As Mayor/Deputy Mayor you will be expected to address many different groups and meet people from all ages, beliefs and backgrounds.  Not all speeches will be pre-notified, and it has been known for a request for a speech to be thrust upon the Mayor/Deputy Mayor at the last minute.  You will be expected therefore to be able to say a few words of thanks, showing that you care about those present.

 

 

Cadets

 

17.1   The Mayor’s Cadets are appointed by the armed service cadet units across Maidstone but at present there is only the Sea Cadets participating.  They are usually invited to attend specific Mayoral events such as Civic Parade and Civic Service, Garden Party, Remembrance Sunday, Court of Survey Cruise, and are presented with badges on their appointment.

 

 

End of Mayoral year

 

19.1   Whilst it may seem odd to be thinking about the end of the Mayoral year, you will inevitably have become used to being treated as First Citizen and some of the benefits that entails.  You may be relieved when the pace slows down, but others are unprepared for the sudden loss of attention.

 

 

Guidance for Wearing Past Mayor’s Badges

 

20.1   The general guidance for the wearing of the Past Mayor’s badge is that it is appropriate to   wear the badge on Civic occasions when the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have both been invited to the event and are both wearing their chains.  Such occasions will include:-

·           Civic events i.e. Mayor Making and Civic Parade and Service, Garden Party

·           Full Council (although usually Past Mayors only wear their badges at the AGM)

·           Mayor’s receptions (as advised by the Mayor)

·           Cathedral and Church Services for Civic Events

·           Royal Visits

·           Remembrance Sunday services and functions

·           Formal occasions when invited to wear medals and decorations

·           Funeral Services for civic figures, when the family have requested badges of office be worn (at the discretion of the Mayor)

·           Other events, as invited by the Mayor

 

          If you have any queries about when the Past Mayor’s badge may be worn, please contact the Mayor’s PA on 01622 602183.

 

 

Pledge

 

I agree to carry out my duties within the guidelines and protocols set out in this document:

 

 

 

 

Mayor of Maidstone 2015/16 ……………………………..…..….     Date: ………………………

 


Feedback

 

21.1   We take feedback seriously and aim to continuously improve our services so we would encourage you to find some time to answer a few questions about our induction and services to you.  Any feedback about the operation of the Mayoral Team, or any perceived failure to comply with the protocols, should be raised initially with Paul Riley, Head of Finance and Resources.

 

 

1.         Which part of the Induction Pack did you find the most useful and why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.         Which part did you find the least useful and why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.         What topics were not covered that you think may be essential/useful to cover in the future?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.         Do you have any further suggestions or comments you wish to make?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please pass your comments on to the Mayor’s PA or Head of Finance and Resources

 


 

 

 

APPENDIX 1 ~ Organisations/Charities OF which Mayor is Patron or Trustee

 

 

Cobtree Charity Trustee

Bentliff Wing Trustees – Trustee

Edmett & Fisher Charity - Trustee

Kent County Agricultural Society (KCAS) – Member

Maidstone Relief in Need Charities - Trustee

Maidstone Grammar School – Governor

Maidstone Girls Grammar School – Governor

Maidstone Football Club – Hon. Member

Maidstone Area Arts Council – Member

Kent County Playing Fields Assn. – Member

 

AGMs usually invited to attend:-

Age UK

Citizen’s Advice Bureau

Bearsted Woodland Trust

Men of Kent and Kentish Men

Maidstone Mediation

Voluntary Action Maidstone

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 2 ~ CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

Civic Events

 

      Date

Mayoral Team

Workload Rate

 

Mayor Making and Civic Parade and Service

23 May 2015 21 May 2016

High

Court of Survey Cruise

13 June 20152 July 2016

High

Mayor’s Garden Party

21July 201527 July 2016

High

Remembrance Sunday

8 November 201513 November 2016

High

Mayoral Events

 

 

Armed Forces Day

22 June 201520 June 2016

Medium

Jeanne Hachette Festival, Beauvais

24-266-28 June 20165

Medium

Mayor’s Christmas Party

4 December 2015Usually a Friday in December

Medium

St Georges Day Parade (Maidstone Scouts)

24 April 2016

Low

Royal Garden Party

20 May 201524 May 2016

Low

Queen’s Own Buffs Service

1820 September 20165

Low

 

 

 

Suggested Charity Events

 

 

A Day Out in Maidstone

Summer

High

Quiz Night

February (usually)

High

Spring Ball or Formal Dinner

March/April (usually)

High

A Day Out in Staplehurst (Hush Heath winery and garden centre)

 

High

Luncheon Sunday lunch or Afternoon Tea

 

Medium

Cruise on the Kentish Lady

Summer/Spring

Medium

Restaurant Evening

 

Medium

 


APPENDIX 3 ~ A SMALL PIECE OF LOCAL HISTORY

 

Maidstone is the County Town of Kent, linked to Rochester and the Thames estuary by the River Medway. There is evidence that there was a settlement here all the way back to the Stone Age.

Maidstone's charter as a town was first confirmed in 1549; and although briefly revoked, a new charter in 1551 created the town as a borough. The town’s charter was ratified in 1619 under James I, and the coat of arms, bearing a golden lion and a representation of the river, was designed.  More recently these arms were added to by the head of a white horse (representing Invicta, the motto of the county of Kent), a golden lion and an iguanodon. The iguanodon relates to the local discovery in the 19th century of the fossilised remains of such a dinosaur which are now displayed in the Natural History Museum in London.

 

Maidstone was at one time a centre of industry: brewing and paper making being among the most important.  Nowadays smaller industrial units encircle the town.  The site of one of the breweries is now Fremlin Walk shopping centre.  The pedestrianised areas of the High Street and King Street run up from the river crossing at Lockmeadow; Week Street and Gabriel’s Hill bisect this route.  The town is ranked one of the top five shopping centres in the south east of England for shopping yields and with more than one million square feet of retail floor space, in the top 50 in the UK.  Much of this space is provided by the two main shopping centres - The Mall and Fremlin Walk.

 

Other developments include the riverside Lockmeadow Centre, which includes a multiplex cinema, restaurants, nightclub, and the town's market square.  The leisure industry is a key contributor to the town with the night-time economy worth approx. £75m per annum.

 

In 2011, the town had a population of 113,137, representing about 73 per cent of the population of the borough.

 

 

HISTORY OF REGALIA

 

The Chain of Office

 

The Mayoral chain of office dates back to 1855 and has been worn by each successive Mayor since then.  The chain is gold and weighs about 0.5 kilos; it is fashioned like an anchor chain, depicting the importance of Maidstone as an inner Port at that time.  The badge is made of gold and shows the River Medway and the three original parishes of Wyke, Mote and Westborough.  The chain is inset with three cartouches; one is engraved with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth on a blue enamel background and text “Charter Granted by Elizabeth A.D. 1559”; another with a portrait of Edward VI and text “Incorporated by Charter of Edward VI A.D. 1548”; the third with a conjoined monogram dated 1855.

 

Maces

 

The smaller mace is silver gilt and of 16th century date.  The Chamberlains’ Accounts for 1576-77 noted that a sum of fifty-eight shillings was paid “for mendinge and addinge of more silver to the mace”.

 

The larger mace is also silver gilt and of mid-17th century date.  James I’s charters had granted the town two sergeants-at-mace.

 

In 1641 one of the jurats, Ambrose Beale, gave thirty pounds towards a new mace but apparently because of the unsettled state of the county, nothing was done until 1649 when the ‘little white mace’ was ordered to be delivered to the Mayor, Andrew Broughton (who in the same year read out Charles I’s death warrant as Clerk of the High Court of Justice in Westminster Hall), together with ten pounds bequeathed by John Bigge in order to procure a new mace.  The old, second mace fetched £3 18s 4½d.  The new one cost £47 3s 5d, with one pound extra for the case. 

 

 

 

 

The Restoration of Charles II meant alterations to this Commonwealth made mace and these, consisting mainly of the elaborate crown, cost £23 4s 4d and were probably done in 1661 as the London date letter (D) for that year is on the crown.

 

Because of the existence of two maces at the beginning of the 17th century, it is difficult to divide the references concerning them.  In the Chamberlains’ Accounts for 1609-10 Philip Lupo, goldsmith of Maidstone was paid sevenpence for mending the mace.  It is interesting to note from the Chamberlains’ Accounts of 1620-21 that there were then “3 Shargaunts (sergeants-at-mace) and the crier”.  In the 1623-24 Accounts the sum of nineteen shillings and sixpence was paid out “for the silver Furralles one (ferrules on) the Cunstable & borshowlders staves”.

 

The maces and corporation plate are on view in the display case on the staircase in the Town Hall.

 

 

Court of Survey Cruise

 

Under a Charter of Queen Elizabeth 1, dated 4 December 1559, the Queen’s Town of Maidstone was granted liberties in the River Medway extending from East Farleigh to Harkwood in Burham.  A Court was held annually to inspect the condition of the River Medway, to redress any disorders and remove any nuisances.  The Corporation used to attend in their barges what was then called ‘The Mayor’s Fishing Court’.

 

These liberties were augmented in a Charge of King James 1, dated 12 July 1619, which granted the privilege of keeping swans and cygnets on this stretch of the Medway and marking them.  From time to time, since 1559, the Mayor has traversed the River between these limits and held a Court of Survey.

 

The duties are listed in Burghmote Book 3, under the date 2 May 1629, amongst ‘addicions to our liberties’:-

 

To have liberty to keep Swans from East Farleigh Bridge to Hawkewood, and a Swan marke, and to alter and change the same at our pleasure, And to seise and marke all white Swans as our owne not lawfully marked, And to preserve them straying, And retake and rehave them.

 

The practice was revived in 1975 and the Mayor of Maidstone’s Court of Survey Cruise has largely been held annually since.  A Swan Master was appointed and the swans were marked by means of a number ring put on their leg.  Since 1981 Bob Tuthill and the Hampstead and Yalding Cruising Club have organised the event.

 

 

 

 

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