The city council has formalised plans to make a temporary change to arrangements for the current Lord Mayor and Sheriff by increasing their time in office due to the effects of coronavirus.
The annual mayor-making ceremony - a colourful occasion to welcome in the new Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich - usually takes place in May. However, the current social distancing measures means the new Lord Mayor and Sheriff cannot be formally sworn in at this time.
To ensure there is continuous civic leadership for the city, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Vaughan Thomas, and the Sheriff, Dr Marian Prinsley, will continue in their roles until the autumn, thereby extending their terms of office to 18 months rather than the usual 12 months.
Councillor Vaughan Thomas, Lord Mayor of Norwich, said: “I am very happy to continue serving as Lord Mayor for another six months, albeit due to immensely challenging circumstances.
“These are extraordinary times, and ensuring the safety of our staff, councillors and residents is of paramount importance. We believe that this course of action is the most sensible at this time.”
The new Lord Mayor, Councillor Kevin Maguire, and Sheriff, Caroline Jarrold, were announced in March but will now take up their roles this autumn. They too are expected to serve a longer term of 18 months up until May 2022.
The usual civic calendar will revert back to the established yearly cycle following this.
These changes have been made with the support of all three represented parties at City Hall.