The city’s Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich have taken on their civic roles after being ceremonially sworn in today.
Norwich city councillor Martin Schmierer will be the Lord Mayor for the 2018-19 civic year and Ros Brown, chief executive of Norfolk Community Law Service, is Sheriff.
Both donned their robes and chains of office for the first time when they were officially elected at the colourful annual mayor-making ceremony in City Hall on Tuesday 22 May.
Martin Schmierer said: “Since moving to Norwich in 1994, I have been enamoured with its culture, heritage and vibrancy. It is a city I am proud to call my home and it is a tremendous honour to be Lord Mayor.
“During this civic year, it will be my priority to recognise the work of many unsung heroes, in particular those supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. I also hope to highlight organisations helping people suffering with mental illness.”
Ros Brown said: “I am delighted to take on this role for the city I care so much about, and look forward to working with the Lord Mayor to support and celebrate the fantastic people we have in our communities.”
Norwich is one of only 25 UK cities to appoint a Lord Mayor and one of 15 towns and cities to appoint a Sheriff.
During the ceremony, the Lord Mayor and Sheriff also revealed their chosen civic charity which, this year, will be The Feed.
The Feed is a Norwich-based social enterprise catering business. They work with people who have been homeless, have mental health problems and other significant barriers to employment and housing. Using food as a way to get people involved and interested they provide training and support.
Matt Townsend, chief executive of The Feed, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be named as this year’s civic charity and really look forward to working with the Lord Mayor, Sherriff and city council.
“We have a track record of helping people through support and training and this will raise the profile of what we do and help us to raise the funds to help more people than ever before.”
As part of today’s meeting, Alan Waters was also re-elected leader of the council and cabinet members appointed.
Martin Schmierer has been a Green Party councillor since 2015, becoming party leader in 2016. During that time he enjoyed meeting residents, business owners and community leaders. At 31, he is one of the youngest councillors to take on civic duties. In his free time, Martin enjoys going to the cinema, cooking and is an avid Norwich City fan. He has lived in Norwich since 1994.
Ros Brown, originally from the north-east, has lived in Norwich since coming to study at the University of East Anglia in 1970. Previously head of democratic services at Norwich City Council, Ros is now chief executive of registered charity, Norfolk Community Law Service (NCLS) – having overseen its development for the last 14 years.
NCLS provides a range of free legal advice services including debt, welfare benefits, domestic abuse, family, employment and immigration. It targets its services at vulnerable clients including those on low incomes, offenders, migrant workers, people with mental health issues and physical disabilities.