New Louth mayors will first have to serve town as deputy
THE way Louth's mayor is elected will change after councillors voted in favour of new proposals.
The heated debate took place at Louth Town Council's latest meeting and Mayor Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders proposed that future mayors should spend a year as deputy, before stepping up to the full role.
Currently the mayor – also chairman of the council – goes straight into the role of mayor, and then spends the following year as deputy to assist the new mayor.
Councillor Laura Stephenson agreed with the proposal, saying: "Just because something has happened for a long time doesn't make it right. We would not have got rid of slavery! In most organisations it's normal that you are vice- chairman before you are the chairman."
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Cllr Trevor Marris, twice a former mayor, was against the move. He told the meeting at Sessions House: "It's simple, you get the gist of going straight in as mayor, within two or three weeks.
"It's a simple idea and nowhere else is like Louth, so why should we be the same as everyone else? Why mend it if it works?"
Cllr George Horton was in favour of change, and said: "Change is for the better and in my opinion sometimes people are reluctant to change. Being asked to go to every public occasion is great and becoming deputy after being mayor is deflating. As a deputy you are only asked about five times a year to cover an event the mayor can't go to."
Cllr Eileen Ballard, who was mayor in 1997 and 2005 said: "There has been no problem with the system before and it's almost an insult that you think we need change."
The debate was put to vote and councillors voted 11 to six in favour of changing to the new system.
It has not been revealed if the former deputy mayor Brian Burnett will become mayor again next.