Weeks after being elected Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Milkinder Jaspal addresses the city in a video.

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In answer to questions from members of the public about the role of the Mayor, here's a special briefing:

Who elects the Mayor? 

The Mayor is elected by councillors (Local Government Act 1974) at the annual meeting of the council held in May each year. 

Do citizens have a say in who it is?

Yes, indirectly, since citizens elect councillors and the Mayor can only be elected to office if he or she is a serving councillor (Local Government Acts 1974 and 2000).  Each year the mayoralty alternates between the controlling party and the opposition and is awarded on the basis of seniority - length of service as a serving councillor. The Mayor of Wolverhampton occupies a mainly civic or ceremonial role rather than an executive role as with a directly elected Mayor. 

With cutbacks, why should we still have a Mayor?

At a time when Wolverhampton is competing for investment on a global stage, the Mayor provides civic leadership and encapsulates the city's identity, particularly important roles when we're welcoming visitors from overseas or representatives of business. The Mayor is an important symbol of the authority and the area, connecting the present day with history, maintaining continuity by upholding traditions. The office is also an important symbol of an open society as the Mayor can come from any ethnic background or either gender. Engagements undertaken by the Mayor are an expression of social cohesion, acting as a link between various bodies and organisations.

How much does the Mayor and his/her office cost?

The Mayoral budget is £345,000

What exactly does the Mayor do?

The Mayor is the representative face, both locally and more widely, of the council and the city.  As First Citizen he or she is recognised in the city as being second only to royalty and Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant.  He or she is an accomplished public speaker, an educator, a diplomat and an ambassador.  The Mayor undertakes a variety of roles: chairs meetings of the full council; leads the city at civic and ceremonial events; acts as an ambassador for the city; promotes the city regionally, nationally and, on occasions, internationally; receives members of the Royal Family and other important regional, national and international visitors; promotes the council's vision, priorities, aims and objectives in the community; fosters good working relationships with local industry, businesses, voluntary, faith and community groups; teaches civic pride to young people; supports local charities and fund-raises for their own chosen charities. 

  • the video has been produced by the council's Corporate Communications Team
  • released: Wednesday 5 June, 2013