Civic leadership for any council is vital in helping promote the area and championing the local community, groups and businesses. Currently, Forest Heath District Council has a chairman and St Edmundsbury Borough Council has a mayor that undertake the civic functions on behalf of the council.
In creating the new West Suffolk Council there is an opportunity to look at what civic leadership should be for the new authority.
The West Suffolk Council Shadow Authority has set up a working group to look at civic leadership and advise what it should look like in the future.
This will include looking at whether the new council should apply to the Privy Council for borough status for the whole of West Suffolk.
All councils must have a chairman or chair. For those councils who have borough status, this role can be taken by a Mayor if they choose to do so. Therefore, if West Suffolk Council successfully applied for borough status, it could have either a mayor or chair/chairman as its civic figurehead.
The chair/chairman can be from any political party and they are voted in annually by the council as a whole.
While still a ward councillor, the civic leader, when acting in their capacity as mayor or chair/chairman, is primarily concerned with the council’s ceremonial and community role. This might include representing the council at civic events such as Remembrance Day services and religious events, hosting other events and parades and supporting local voluntary, youth or charity groups.
You can have your say by filling in our online form and help the council decide what civic leadership should be going forward. The shadow authority will be carrying out public engagement until 2 September 2018.
You can find out more about civic leadership for West Suffolk by looking at our Civic leadership questions and answers