This consultation is now closed.
Background - History of the Lord Mayoralty and Sheriff of Chester
Lord Mayor of Chester - Historians long believe that the office of the Mayor of Chester began in 1237-8. This was when the last Norman Earl of Chester died and the Earldom was taken over by the Crown. Research however, suggests that the first known Mayor of Chester was William the Clerk. Mayors of earlier times were generally selected by the burgesses or leading citizens, someone to act as a leader. There were no set rules for choosing a Mayor and Mayors had no fixed term of office. They served as long as they were thought capable and acceptable. Their role was to govern the social and economic life of the community. They passed local laws and were in charge of enforcing law and order.
The status of Chester’s Mayor was enhanced on St Valentine’s Day 1992. It was announced that the Queen would grant Lord Mayoralty status to Chester. She presented the Letters Patent confirming this honour to Chester’s first Lord Mayor, Councillor Susan Proctor, on 16 April 1992.
The Lord Mayoralty was given to Chester in recognition of its historical and economic importance. The full title of the Mayor is now ‘The Right Worshipful, the Lord Mayor of the City of Chester’.
The Lord Mayor is the first citizen of Chester and is now elected in May at the City of Chester’s Charter Trustees Annual Meeting and their role has evolved into a ceremonial figure - supporting and promoting the local businesses, communities, specific interested parties and residents.
Admiralty powers were originally granted to Chester in 1354 by the Black Prince and given to the Mayor of Chester so they could collect duty and taxes from river users. This title of Admiral of the Dee still stands today but these powers have diminished over the years and the role is now ceremonial.
Sheriff of Chester - The office of Sheriff of Chester dates back to 1121 and research shows that the Sheriff of Chester is the oldest Sheriff in the country. Prior to the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act, Chester’s governance was in the hands of unpaid officials drawn from the local community, such as Sheriffs. After 1835, paid officers began to be appointed, although the Mayor and Sheriff continued in their roles to be unpaid. Previously, Sheriffs had legal duties such as the return of writs and assisted the Mayor in running the Freemans Court. Nowadays, the Sheriff of Chester is only a ceremonial figure who jointly hosts the city’s annual Legal Service, undertakes the annual inspection of the city’s civic silver, hosts an annual charity breakfast and supports the Lord Mayor of Chester.
It is thought that Chester was the first English town to have a Sheriff. The office is certainly much older than that of the Mayor of Chester.
Why are we undertaking this consultation
Cheshire West and Chester Council, on behalf of the Charter Trustees for the City of Chester, is seeking the views of residents on the future of the civic and ceremonial activities of the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and the Sheriff of Chester. The Charter Trustees for the City of Chester were established in April 2009, following local government reorganisation, to preserve and protect the City of Chester’s historic rights, privileges and traditions which otherwise would have been lost when Chester City Council was abolished. The appointment of the Lord Mayor of Chester, Deputy Lord Mayor of Chester and the Sheriff of Chester transferred from the local authority to the Charter Trustees.
From April 2017, it is proposed that only the residents in the Chester Charter Trustee area (shown in the consultation document and on the online survey) will meet the costs for the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Chester, rather than the costs being met by the residents of the wider Cheshire West and Chester borough area. Based on current expenditure levels, it is expected that the precept for Chester residents will be in the region of £5.50 per year for a Band D property.
This consultation gives residents in the City of Chester the opportunity to help shape and influence the activities of the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Chester.
How your views will be usedThe City of Chester Charter Trustees will consider the results of the consultation
when considering the future activities of the Lord Mayoralty and Sheriff.
How to share your views
The consultation period closes on 3 January 2017.
There are a range of ways to express your views. You can complete the survey online or by printing off the questionnaire and posting it back to us. If you would like a paper questionnaire sending to you, then please contact us.
Other ways to take part
- Telephone: 01244 972283
- Write to: The Research Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE
Council information is also available in audio, braille, large print or other formats. If you would like a copy in a different format, in another language or require a British sign language (BSL) interpreter:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 0300 123 8123
- Textphone: 18001 01606 275 757