A review into the role of Sheffield’s Lord Mayor won’t now take place – after a procedural hiccup during a council meeting.
The full council was due to discuss a review into how the role could be updated and whether there should be a code of conduct for future Lord Mayors.
Officers had written a report and Labour was due to support the review but a vote on it was stopped by Coun Mazher Iqbal. It was a motion but Coun Iqbal thought the council was just going to note the report.
Council Leader Julie Dore tried to withdraw it but couldn’t so Labour councillors abstained, the Liberal Democrats voted against it and the review now won’t go ahead.
Back in October the council received a petition of 47 names calling for the abolition of sitting Lord Mayor Magid Magid – and another petition with 17,500 names in support of him.
It prompted Council Leader Julie Dore to ask the overview and scrutiny committee to look into the role.
Emily Standbrook-Shaw, policy and improvement officer, said in a report: “Specific guidance is provided to the Lord Mayor and they are subject to the same code of conduct as all councillors.
“Current guidance emphasises the traditional elements of the role of Lord Mayor. The committee felt that this guidance could be slimmed down and reviewed to reflect the 21st Century environment that Lord Mayors are operating in.
“The committee felt that as First Citizen of Sheffield, it is important that the Lord Mayor remains non-political during their term of office.
“There is a need for a firmer understanding of the council’s expectation of a Lord Mayor, including issues such as remaining non-political, attending certain events deemed important to the city, and respecting tradition whilst having the flexibility to put your own stamp on the role.”
Lib Dem Leader Shaffaq Mohammed said he was pleased the review won’t happen. “We don’t like anyone being gagged. The Lord Mayor is halfway through his term of office so why do this now?
“Each Lord Mayor brings their own individuality to the role and this review was about getting all Lord Mayors to act in a certain way. It’s not needed and we should endorse non conformity and difference in our Lord Mayors.”