DCSIMG

Parties clash over selection of West Norfolk’s mayor

Candidates for the Norfolk County Council Elections May 2013 ENGANL00120130424154734

Candidates for the Norfolk County Council Elections May 2013 ENGANL00120130424154734

A row has broken out how West Norfolk’s civic leaders are chosen, amid suggestions the process has become too political.

As first reported in the Lynn News last Friday, Conservative councillor Barry Ayres, who represents Tilney St Lawrence, is set to succeed Elizabeth Watson as the borough’s mayor next month.

Meanwhile Tory Colin Manning, who represents Heacham, and Labour’s Gary Howman, the member for Old Gaywood, have been nominated to serve as deputy mayor.

But Labour party officials are increasingly unhappy at a system which they argue has been politicised in recent times.

Group leader John Collop said: “It is many years since we have had a King’s Lynn councillor involved with the mayor or deputy mayor function and this should be corrected.

“Also, the mayor and deputy mayor are supposed to be non-political roles but there has not been a mayor or deputy mayor from the Labour group of councillors since 2001.”

But council leader Nick Daubney said the opposition parties had not replied when he invited them to nominate their own candidates.

He said it would be “nice” if the party leaders could meet to discuss the situation, but insisted other parties were entitled to make their own nominations.

He added: “They’re dead right it shouldn’t be a political decision, so let’s hope we don’t make it one.”

The formal mayor making ceremony will take place at the Lynn Town Hall on May 8.

 

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