Coun Mick Stanley has been formally selected as the new Mayor of Ripon for 2013-14.
Coun Stanley joined his city council colleagues in the council chamber at the town hall on Tuesday, May 7, at 11am for the annual Mayor Making Ceremony, followed by a special lunch at Ripon Spa Hotel.
Coun Stanley told the Gazette his main motivation for taking on the office again – he served in the ceremonial role from 2011-12 – was to see the development of the Ripon City Plan.
“My priority this year is to push the City Plan into some stage of fruition,” he said after Tuesday’s ceremony.
“I also want to continue with Discover Ripon as a vehicle to let people know what’s going on in Ripon, and improve transparency.”
The Ripon City Plan, a national initiative known as the Neighbourhood Plan aimed at giving local people a say on the future of their towns and cities, is currently at consultation stage.
Consultation closes on Sunday, June 30, with questionnaires being handed out to 15,000 households across the city.
Reflecting on his decision to take on the post of Mayor once again, Coun Stanley said: “I knew a year wasn’t long enough to see the plan through to the final stages.”
He also pledged to ensure relations between the city council and its local authority partners, Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council, remained strong.
“Working closely with them is part and parcel of the council process,” said Coun Stanley.
And Coun Stanley defended the pomp and ceremony surrounding occasions such as the Mayor Making Ceremony – which Ripon MP Julian Smith branded “out-of-date” last year – saying it adds to the council’s inclusivity.
“It is a way of saying thank you to all the organisations in the city and I think they appreciate that,” he said.
“It is an important tradition that brings everyone together.”
Ripon’s outgoing Mayor, city and borough Coun Andrew Williams, was absent from the ceremony.
Coun Williams was arrested in February on suspicion of stealing council funds and is currently on police bail while they continue their investigation.