Wilmslow Town Council Chair renamed Town Mayor

Town Mayor and Deputy TM March 2024

Wilmslow Town Council has decided agreed to change the title of the Wilmslow Town Council Chair to Town Mayor.

This brings Wilmslow in line with most other Town Councils in Cheshire East.

The Town Mayor's roles and responsibilities remain identical to those of the Chair, but the Town Council hope that the revised title will raise the profile of Wilmslow and of the Town Council at borough-wide events and at our local community events taking place throughout the year.

Councillor Jon Newell will remain in post for the remainder of this council year, but his title will now be Town Mayor. The title Vice Chair of the Council has been changed to Deputy Town Mayor. Councillor Jon Kelly will remain in this role and deputise for the Town Mayor in his absence.

Councillor Jon Newell, Town Mayor, said, "Wilmslow Town Council hope that by making these title changes, we will have increased visibility within the community and consequently more able to continue making Wilmslow an even better place to live.

"I look forward to continuing to represent the Town Council, attending local events, supporting Wilmslow charities and community groups, working with and for Wilmslow residents, as Town Mayor."

Pictured (L-R): Town Mayor, Councillor Jon Newell, with Deputy Town Mayor, Councillor Jon Kelly.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Goldsmith
Friday 8th March 2024 at 6:20 am
Okay, before anyone mentions it, no this does not involve Wilmslow Town Council buying any new gold chains, nor a mayors car or any new ceremony either. It is a name change only. That’s it.

Some schools and charities have told us they have been unsuccessful in getting the Cheshire East mayor to attend their event because they were fully booked for months ahead.

Therefore, like almost every other town in Cheshire East, we want to offer these groups the ability for a mayor to attend their event. But only if they want it, see it as a benefit for them and at no cost to rate payers.

We have a large number of community groups in Wilmslow that do such great work with tiny resources. Therefore, as a town council, we want to help them in any small way we can and this is a start towards doing that.

However, we are also preparing plans on how we can assist them in a greater capacity to raise their awareness, attract more volunteers and access suitable funding.

More on that to follow later in the year.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Stuart Redgard
Friday 8th March 2024 at 11:41 pm
My personal opinion is: "If it ain't broke, then don't fix it."

As I said at the town council meeting where this was voted on (Not Unanimously), I believe it is a backwards step.

As http://www.gov.uk states: Many councils have a civic mayor or chairman of the council. They carry out ceremonial duties and chair meetings.

And as some councillors said they hoped it would be cost-neutral, it clearly won't.

I hope to be able to demonstrate this at the next meeting on Monday 18th March.
Alan Brough
Saturday 9th March 2024 at 7:43 pm
Mark Goldsmith,

My feeling is that, against a backdrop of LA failures and a shortage of funding for many essential services, this is not a “good look.”

The fact that the expensive CE Chain-Wearer is booked-up months in advance to cut ribbons and plant saplings etc shouldn’t provide any justification for further public funded support of men in gaiters.

Let’s get the streets cleaned, gullies emptied, potholes fixed and when all of that is done we can start thinking of tri-corned hats and Morris Dancers.

By the way, has anyone at WTC ever considered the embarrassment of living in a town where the time is always ten past three?
Mark Goldsmith
Monday 11th March 2024 at 7:28 am
Hi Alan

Wilmslow Town councillors are volunteers, so it is their time they are donating and I’m not sure how changing their job title diverts public funds.

Street cleaning, gullies and potholes are Cheshire East functions, so the town council does not get involved in them.

Finally, the town council did write to Barclays asking them to fix the clock but to no avail. It is a private building though, so it is not appropriate to use public funds to maintain it. I am also not sure why that stops Wilmslow having a mayor either.
Richard Mason
Monday 11th March 2024 at 8:08 am
Am I missing something here? I'm struggling to see where the additional cost comes from for this change. As I see it the change will do the following:
- Alter the title online from "Chair" to "Mayor"
- Alter the bit of card that sits infront of him at council meetings
- Alter the line in the finance that was previously "Chair's expenses"

The only issue is whether those expenses go up.

As for street cleaning, potholes etc... that's all CEC and damn right they need to get their act together. WTC are all about organising town events, planting trees and commisioning benches, and turning up with chains on anyway. But maybe they should branch out into clock repairs!
Alan Brough
Wednesday 13th March 2024 at 2:46 pm
Hi Mark,

You will remember (because you were involved in the conversation) that the pretty necklaces worn by the WTC Chair and Deputy Chair came in at just over £12,700 to the taxpayer.

Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 13th March 2024 at 4:05 pm
It is established pot holes, gullies etc are 100% the responsibility of Cheshire East Council. Also, like all other councils, starved of Government Cash. What the current Town Council is about is raising the profile of the town. Seeking to involve more local people and to attract more visitors. Let's have more positivity.

Roger Bagguley

Residents of Wilmslow
Richard Mason
Wednesday 13th March 2024 at 4:37 pm
The allegation is that changing a name from "Chairman" to "Mayor" will cost us taxpayers.
The evidence from WTC (the defence) is that there will be no ceremony nor any new chains - as they already own some which I think are significantly older than most of the residents.
The evidence from the prosecution is that 11 years ago a previous council put forward a proposal to spend money on chains but then shelved it.
On this occasion I find in favour of the council!
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 13th March 2024 at 6:26 pm
I’m not unhappy that this has changed, though Lord Mayor has a more familiar ring about it.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 13th March 2024 at 7:01 pm
@ Richard (Perry) Mason,

Are you certain that the investment in new paraphernalia was shelved?

Richard Mason
Thursday 14th March 2024 at 12:08 pm
Haha - I do love a good investigation! Let me show my working...

The article showing Wilmslow Town Council agreeing to pay for new chains is dated 18th June 2013. In the comments a current councillor - Mark Goldsmith - (although not on the council at the time) indicates his view that this is a waste of money.
The first article you linked is dated 10th March 2015 and states "after much public protest the 'investment' was shelved."
The current chains that the (now) Mayor has are the ones used prior to 2013.
Current council have indicated that there will be no new chains.

I know that a couple of people have indicated that the name change will cost money but I'm yet to see or hear any actual factual evidence. And unless the big reveal at the next council meeting involves a mask being removed from the Mayor to reveal the caretaker muttering "...and I'd have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you pesky residents and that meddling mutt!" then I'm happy with the situation.

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