A new mayor has been elected to serve Greenwich for the next year amid Tory complaints that opposition councillors are “restricted” from the post.

At Greenwich Council’s annual meeting on Wednesday night (May 15), Councillor Christine May said goodbye to her civic role as mayor of the royal borough.

Cllr May will be succeeded by Mick Hayes, her deputy, to the complaints of opposition councillors who said the role is never shared.

The incoming mayor is serving for a second time in the last five years, sparking fresh calls for a rethink on how the post is picked,

Matt Hartley, leader of Greenwich Conservatives, said: “I am very pleased to second the motion for Cllr Hayes, I know he will serve admirably.


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“I know that he will do a fine job first-hand because I have of course served under his mayoralty before despite only being a councillor for five years.

“This is no comment on an individual appointment, but we are in a situation where the same Labour councillor has been elected to serve as mayor within a very short time frame – that’s because the office of mayor is for all intents and purposes restricted to members of the Labour Party.

“That is brought into sharp relief when the same nominations occur. We believe the office of mayor should not be filled on a party-political basis. There is no reason for it other than the labour uses its majority to resist reform.”

Outgoing mayor Christine May will hand over to Mick Hayes later this month, and councillor Linda Bird will sit as his deputy.


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Civic mayors are a borough’s first citizens, representing communities and fundraising for local charities and initiatives.

Chairing full council meetings is the mayor’s primary duty, as it is the mayor’s task to ensure proceedings are conducted properly and all opinions are given a hearing.

During their term of office, the mayor must be non-political.