Mayors could be given an extra 12 months in office

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Mayors across Essex could have their terms in office extended by an extra 12 months after the government said annual meeting do not need to take place.

In a letter sent to councils across the country local government secretary Robert Jenrick said annual meetings, which traditionally include the mayor making ceremony, do not have to take place this year.

The leader of Southend Council confirmed that this will mean that Conservative councillor John Lamb will remain as mayor until 2021.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend Council said: “The annual meeting which was to take place on May 14, 2020 has already been cancelled as per the regulations, and so the Mayor will remain in office for the 2020-21 municipal year.”

Basildon Council is yet to confirm whether Labour councillor David Burton-Sampson will continue representing the town as Mr Burton-Sampson said their priority remains to be dealing with coronavirus.

“No decision has been made on roles for the next municipal year as yet and quite right too as we are focused on getting our borough through this national emergency and saving as many lives as possible,” he said.

“A date has not and cannot be set for the council AGM as yet.

“However, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as mayor and I am honoured to represent our borough. It has been amazing to meet so many fantastic people who are all doing great work.

“I have also been proud to launch The Basildon Borough Community Lottery and raise funds to get More in Common Basildon Borough off the ground as well as launching the Mayors Community Foundation giving small grants for projects to some of the groups we have visited this year and I am passionate about seeing these projects develop further.”

It is understood all deputy mayors will also remain in place for the same period.

Thurrock Council was contacted for comment regarding their policy.

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Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter

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