Time for St Albans to have a Lord Mayor?

THE Herts Advertiser is giving its full support to a campaign by St Albans to become the first district in Hertfordshire to have a Lord Mayor.

The district council is entering the Lord Mayoralty competition which is being held to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and the newspaper will be backing its bid all the way.

It could pitch the district up against the likes of Bath, Cambridge, Durham and Salisbury but if the bid was successful, St Albans would become the first district in the county to have a Lord Mayor with all its associated benefits for tourism and promotion.

Currently St Albans has the title Right Worshipful which is one step up from most Mayoralties and one step below the Lord Mayoralty.

The grounds for the application are that St Albans is the only city with over 800 years of history without a Lord Mayoralty, it has a remarkable heritage from over 2,000 years of human occupation and is the only city in Herts.

In addition it is a member of the Magna Carta 800th anniversary committee and is playing a major role in the planning of national celebrations in 2015.

It is also at the forefront of national thinking for the future in terms of green technology, community cohesion and sustainability.

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Only cities can apply for the rare mark of honour which is an exceptional distinction conferred on the Mayors of a few, usually long established and important cities.

The last Lord Mayoralty was awarded to Exeter in 2002 and prior to that it was Chester.

The deadline for applications is May 27 and a special project team is working on a draft which has to include an introduction highlighting why the area deserves a Lord Mayoralty and a profile of the area.

Current Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Maxine Crawley, said she was “all for it” and went on: “I think it would be a fitting tribute to St Albans and a wonderful opportunity for St Albans.

“When you look at the cities which have been granted it, we are up there with them with our heritage, history, tourism, opportunities and inclusivity.”

Cllr Crawley said that during her years as Mayor and Deputy Mayor, she had become very aware how St Albans as a comnmunity embraced all sort of other communities such as the Polish and Italian associations, people involved with her charities like Special Olympics and were very warm towards tourists to the district.

She felt that if the district was awarded the Lord Mayoralty, it would raise the profile and give St Albans a huge boost.

“It will make us feel that we as a community have done things which are good and right. It would be a huge honour for the city and district.

“We have the Magna Carta connection and it would be wonderful if we got the Lord Mayoralty in 2012 in time for national celebrations in 2015.”

Herts Advertiser editor Matt Adams added: “We are proud to be adding our support to the campaign for a Lord Mayor of St Albans, and will be doing everything in our power to help the bid succeed.”