Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, legislation requiring councils to hold an annual general meeting has temporarily been lifted by government. As a result, this year’s Mayor Making ceremony, which is included as part of the Annual Meeting of Council each year, will not be taking place as is tradition this month.
The continued pressures of coronavirus and restrictions in terms of social distancing and gatherings is continuing to have a significant impact on the role of the Lord Mayor. One of the most important aspects of the Lord Mayor’s work is to be able to meet the wonderful people of Leeds at different gatherings and events across the city, whilst also representing the city with great distinction across the UK and further afield.
With this in mind, the council has taken the decision to ask the current Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor, to remain in office until May 2021. Councillor Asghar Khan, who was due to become the new Lord Mayor this year, will instead be proposed to take office in May next year.
This will hopefully allow both Councillor Taylor and Councillor Khan to carry out their duties in full for a respective whole year term as Lord Mayor, and also ensure that all charities, and the individual charities they champion, are given the full opportunity to benefit from their support. As such, SARSVL (Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds) will remain as the Lord Mayor’s chosen charity this year.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor, said:
“It has been a real privilege to be the Lord Mayor of Leeds over the past year and I’m honoured to be able to continue the role for another year.
“Over the coming months I hope to be able to help communities across the city as we work together to fight the virus and rebuild. Here in Leeds we have endless community spirit and I know we will get through this and come out the other side stronger.
“I am looking forward to the day when I am able to meet you all again in person. In the meantime, please look after each other and take care. Stay safe.”
Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake, said:
“It is a great shame that we have had to cancel this year’s Mayor Making ceremony but I am delighted that Councillor Taylor will remain as Lord Mayor for another year.
“Over the next year I am sure we will see many challenges as a city but I know Councillor Taylor is well placed to help us overcome them as the city’s Lord Mayor.
“I’m also looking forward to welcoming Councillor Khan into the role next year which will hopefully be under better circumstances.”
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