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What is a Mayor?
The Mayoralty is the highest position which Medway Council can
bestow. The office of Mayor draws its traditions and privileges
from rights acquired over hundreds of years.
The Mayor is elected annually from among the councillors and he
or she presides over the meetings of the full council. Most importantly, he or she is the
first citizen of the district and the official representative of
In effect, this means that anywhere within Medway, the Mayor of
Medway takes precedence over all others, including visiting
dignitaries, mayors of other boroughs, chairmen of district
councils, town mayors, county councillors and the like - except
royalty or the Lord Lieutenant of the County (if representing Her
Majesty the Queen).
The Mayor's right to precedence is determined by the Local
Government Act 1972, which provides that the chairman of a
district council shall have precedence in the district but not so
as to prejudicially affect Her Majesty's royal prerogative. So when
the Mayor is not presiding at a meeting or a function, he or she
should sit at the chairman's right hand.
The question of precedence during royal visits is determined by
the nature of the visit. If the visit is instigated by the council,
the Mayor takes precedence over everyone except the members of the
royal family and the Lord Lieutenant or High Sheriff of the county
(when they are representing the Queen). In all other cases, the
Mayor would follow the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff.
The Lord Lieutenant is the official representative of the
monarch within the county. He may also be asked to represent the
monarch at functions. On the occasion of a royal visit, the Lord
Lieutenant will first greet the royal visitor, then introduce the
Mayor, afterwards leaving the remaining introductions to the Mayor.
Similarly, if the Lord Lieutenant has been asked by the Queen to
represent her at, say, a funeral or some other ceremonial event, he
will take precedence over the Mayor.
The mayor or chairman of another district council has precedence
in their own district and chains of office and the civic car
pennant are not used unless the host civic head has indicated that
it would be appropriate.
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