NEW MAYOR TO BE ELECTED USING ZOOM TECHNOLOGYMon 4th May 2020
The 22nd Mayor of the present ‘Beverley Town Council’ will be elected later this month on 11th May at 6.30pm using Zoom virtual meeting technology, as Beverley Town Council signals its determination to continue its civic, pride and traditions despite the lockdown. The newly elected Mayor will be the 417th Mayor of the town.
The ancient office of the Mayor of Beverley, dating back to 1573, when Edward Ellerker was in the seat, is traditionally elected each May at the annual ‘Mayor Making’ ceremony at Beverley's Guildhall. At the civic ceremony, the outgoing Mayor makes his final address and the Town Councillors elect their new Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who are then installed and sign their declarations of office.
This year, however, it will all be done virtually with all the Councillors and Officers isolated at home, following government Covid-19 restrictions of ‘Stay at Home, Save Lives’.
Town Clerk, Ms Helen Watson explained; "Beverley Town Council is leading the way in using technology to facilitate ongoing council business, whilst socially isolating and following government restrictions. Beverley Town Councillors resolved in March to continue with Council meetings as normal, making decisions whilst embracing the new legislation and technology. As Town Clerk I had ensured the appropriate equipment was in place, so when the new Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed in late March, Officers were prepared and ready to work on the virtual Zoom platform. Town Councillors had requested and welcomed the opportunity to continue council business, as they are elected to do so, but now on a virtual platform. It has been a big learning curve for us all. I believe Beverley Town Council is leading the way, in virtual meetings at present as not many other Town or Parish Councils in the East Riding of Yorkshire are using the technology. We have already used Zoom to conduct various Full Council and other Committee meetings, and key decisions continue to be made by Councillors as they have requested.
"The election of a new Mayor and Deputy is very important for the town, and although Mayor Making 2020 won't be quite the same as usual, Councillors are determined to keep things as close to the usual format as possible, including having members of the public present by offering the opportunity to view proceedings as they would normally be allowed, but to do so, on a virtual platform."
East Riding Ward Councillor, Denis Healy, and leader of the ruling Liberal Democrat group on Beverley Town Council said: "I am proud that Beverley Town Council is ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping council business going using virtual meeting technology. The Town Council hasn't missed a single meeting because of the lockdown, with Councillors and Officers participating from their own homes.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council, by contrast, could learn a thing or two from Beverley Town Council about how things should be done. The East Riding of Yorkshire Full Council hasn't met since February, and hasn’t yet worked out how it can get all its Councillors connected using this technology. If the House of Commons and Beverley Town Council can manage it, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council should be asking itself some very serious questions about why it can't do the same’’.
"I am really looking forward to the virtual Mayor Making, and I want to take this opportunity to thank Cllr Duncan Jack for his dedicated year of service to the town. I am hoping that we will be able to elect a new Mayor on the 11th May who will be able to inspire the town at this very challenging time."
Members of the public who would like to observe the Mayor Making on 11th May should go to the www.Beverley.gov.uk website homepage and click on the Meeting links - Mayor Making. The Agenda can be viewed under the tab for Council meetings and Full Council agenda.
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01482 874096.