Oxford City Council’s annual mayor making ceremony has been postponed until the autumn due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual event sees the roles of the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford and Sheriff of Oxford filled. Traditionally, the roles – which are ceremonial – are held for 12 months by the longest serving councillors on Oxford City Council.
The ceremony was due to take place during the Annual Council Meeting on Wednesday 20 May, but has now been postponed until 30 November 2020.
This means the current Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons; Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan; and Sheriff of Oxford, Councillor Stephen Goddard, will now continue in their roles until November 2020.
The selection of the new civic holders for 2020/21, which was announced at Full Council on 24 February, will remain unchanged.
Councillor Mark Lygo will become the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Steve Goddard the Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford, and Councillor Dick Wolff the Sheriff of Oxford on 30 November 2020.
All three will serve 18-month terms through to May 2022 – subject to their re-election as councillors in the May 2021 local elections and a confirmatory vote at the Annual Meeting in 2021.
“We are rescheduling the symbolic mayor-making ceremony after reaching a cross-party agreement. The role of the civic office holders is dramatically reduced by the current necessary restrictions of community gatherings and visiting and a number of the traditional events associated with these offices have had to be cancelled. Additionally, it would not be possible at the moment to hold the annual ceremony to pay tribute to the outgoing Lord Mayor and welcome in the new Lord Mayor.”
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council.