Why training on how to be Mayor of Calderdale has split opinion

The New Mayor of Calderdale Coun Marcus Thmpson.
The New Mayor of Calderdale Coun Marcus Thmpson.

Training offered to new Mayors is very welcome but should not be mandatory, some councillors believe.

It puts them at odds with some of their colleagues who believe training should be mandatory before they take on the role of Calderdale’s leading citizen.

READ: New Mayor of Calderdale takes up office

Calderdale Council’s Civic Advisory Group had recommended to the Governance and Business Committee that training be mandatory but committee members referred it back to them to reconsider.

One of the borough’s former civic heads, committee chair Coun Lisa Lambert (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden), said the training, which colleagues on some other councils were expected to undertake, offered advice and guidance to help new Mayors through civic protocols they will have to negotiate.

Officers said it is designed to recognise the Mayor’s role as first citizen of the borough, ensure they were aware of their commitments and equip them for the situations they would be involved in and the demands made upon them.

Coun Lambert, Mayor of Calderdale in 2015-16, said she believed Mayors-to-be should receive the training.

“Every Mayor should take the training – unless you’ve been Mayor before,” she said.

Coun Roger Taylor (Con, Northowram and Shelf) said he would like help to be there for Mayors – but would not like to be told he had to do it.

Coun Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) said the council itself set out protocols by which Mayors worked.

As it stands, training is always available – but Mayors, as yet, do not have to take it, a majority of the committee agreed.