“What does the Mayor do?” I’ve heard that a lot on my travels. It’s a good question and one that deserves an answer. So here’s a quick rundown of my main roles and responsibilities several months into the job.
The most obvious task for the Mayor is to act as a sort of focus or figurehead for the town. Somebody said to me that the Mayor is the “First Citizen for Frome”. I’m not sure that I can claim that title, but as the Mayor I am invited to open civic events like the recent and enjoyable half marathon. Sometimes I’m allowed to judge competitions and award prizes, often I just attend happenings as the town’s representative to help to promote issues and raise funds for local charities. “Grip and Grin,” as I like to call it – the easy and enjoyable part.
A more difficult job is to chair the regular full council meetings. This requires that I also help to plan and prepare the agenda in accordance with standing orders and try to promote public engagement in a fair and balanced way.
Importantly the Mayor sometimes has to act as a spokesperson for the town council. That might mean giving speeches or interviews on behalf of the council or maintaining the Mayor’s social media accounts or even writing pieces for the local press (like this one). I often get to sign important documents too!
“Does the mayor get paid?” No, I don’t receive any money for doing this. In fact none of the seventeen town councillors are paid any allowances or wages – we are all volunteers.
“Are you the Mayor forever?” Definitely not! The post is for one year only. It’s only right to share the job and give others a chance to learn more about this enterprising town called Frome.