Mayor May Not?
- – an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, commenting on a suggestion so bizarre as to surely be nothing more than an April Fool spoof gone wildly out of control.
Earlier in the week, implausible rumours began to circulate amongst former Councillors of the Borough of Scarborough (which ceased to exist at midnight on 31st March 2023) and current Councillors of North Yorkshire Council (which sprang into being on 1st April – All Fool’s Day) that a move was afoot to create a Mayor of Scarborough – despite there being no Council in the town (neither Borough nor Town) until at least May 2024.
The intial ripples began to gain traction when North Yorkshire Councillor Tony RANDERSON [ex-Lab.] resigned from both the Labour Party and his Eastfield seat at the new Council on Monday 3rd April 2023, citing disillusionment with Labour Opposition Leader Sir Keir STARMER:
By Tuesday morning, the cognoscenti were claiming that the real reason for Rando’s shock departure was quite different.
Apparently, former Councillors of the Labour Group at SBC had been pushing for former Councillor Rich MAW [Lab.] to be nominated as the Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary candidate (PPC) for the Scarborough & Whitby constituency, to fight the seat which many believe will be vacated by Sir Robert GOODWILL MP when next we have a general Election.
Not only did Rich “Gaping” MAW not win the nomination – I am hearing that he did not even make the cut for the last sixteen. The winner was Alison HUME, who lost out to Zoë METCALFE [Con.] in the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner elections in May 2022.
Of course, the ‘spin’ is not that the the Mayoralty should be awarded as a sop to Mr MAW for losing out on the PPC nomination, rather that it is historically vital to maintain a Mayoral continuity dating all the way back to Mayor Samuel Standidge BYRON in 1836.
This, of course, is to overlook the fact that the Mayoral continuity actually dates back only to 1971/72, where there is a highly conspicuous break in the line, once filled by Scarborough’s most notorious ‘dignitary’. (Lest we forget).
As far as I can ascertain, there is no legal framework under which it is possible to appoint a Mayor, since there is no Council in Scarborough at present, and therefore no Scarborough Councillors to elect her/him.
Things have come to a pretty pass if a small group of residents (albeit ex-Councillors) can create a Mayor out of thin air.
On that basis, literally any group of residents could create a Mayor. Contributors to the North Yorks Enquirer could create a Mayor. Friends of South Cliff Gardens could create a Mayor (most likely Mayor Major Major Major). And who will be Mayor of the West Pier?
In my view, this April Tom Foolery has gone quite far enough.