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Harrogate to get new ceremonial mayor next week

Thursday, 23 May 2024 14:45

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

Chris Aldred, High Harrogate and Kingsley.

Chris Aldred is set to be appointed the new Harrogate charter mayor at a meeting next week.

Mr Aldred is a Liberal Democrat councillor and represents the High Harrogate & Kingsley division on North Yorkshire Council.

The non-political role involves promoting the historic and ceremonial traditions of the Harrogate area during events and occasions.

It differs from the former Harrogate Borough Council mayor who covered the whole of the former borough and undertook a much wider range of engagements.

His fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Philip Broadbank is set to be his deputy.

The charter mayor will be elected by the Harrogate charter trustees after Mr Aldred was nominated at a meeting last year. These are 10 councillors representing divisions that cover the unparished parts of Harrogate town.

Mr Aldred said he was “honoured and humbled” to be nominated for the role.

It has been held by Conservative councillor Michael Harrison for the last 12 months when Mr Aldred served as his deputy.

Mr Aldred said:

“Whilst the role of Charter Mayor is very much “mayor-lite” compared to the role played by the mayor of the former Harrogate District, there is a significant part to play as first citizen of the unparished area of Harrogate town.

“I am looking forward to representing the town at civic events and maintaining the traditions of the mayoralty at ceremonial events such as Remembrance Sunday, which I know are very important to many Harrogate residents.”

If, as expected, a Harrogate Town Council is created following elections in May next year, the new council will have the power to create a usher in a more wide-ranging mayoralty.

Mr Aldred added:

“I very much hope that I will be the last charter mayor and be able to hand over the chains of office next May to a newly elected chair of Harrogate Town Council.

"The charter trustees basically exist to ‘babysit’ the mayoralty and its traditions until a town council is created, elected and fully functioning.

“Until then I will endeavour to carry out the role of charter mayor to the best of my abilities and represent our great & historic town as best as I can”.

Mr Aldred worked in local government across Yorkshire for 23 years in the tourism and arts sectors. He has also worked at Bradford Cathedral, the Army Foundation College & Harrogate Convention Centre.

He was first elected as a councillor in 2018 to Harrogate Borough Council.

He’s been married to Sue for 35 years and is a keen runner having completed more than 400 park runs. He also likes to cycle, look after his pet cat Zelda and explore old churches. He follows the trials and tribulations of Leeds United.

The meeting will take place at Harrogate Civic Centre at 9.15am on Thursday (May 30th).

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