Mark Canniford to continue as mayor of Weston until 2021

Mark Canniford will remain as mayor of Weston until 2021. Picture: Andrew Thompson

Mark Canniford will remain as mayor of Weston until 2021. Picture: Andrew Thompson - Credit: Archant

Weston’s mayor will continue in the role for another year.

Cllr Mark Canniford will remain the town’s mayor and be assisted by councillor James Clayton as deputy mayor until 2021.

As no annual general meeting will be held in May due to the coronavirus outbreak, Weston Town Council would not be able to elect a new mayor and deputy for 2020/21.

The council agreed on March 17 for committee and working parties to be suspended until further notice.

Day-to-day business will continue as usual, but no policy changes will be made at this time.

The mayor’s ball, which was due to take place tomorrow (Saturday), has been postponed and will be held sometime between ‘late summer to early autumn’, while the 12-day youth exchange of German students, set for April, has been cancelled.

MORE: Events postponed across community as town council responds to outbreak.

Cllr Clayton said: “It is an unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in, we are in the unknown and have no idea how long this pandemic will go on for.

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“I have been gearing up for the position of mayor for the past 12 months but unfortunately I have to accept this cannot happen in the current climate.

“For the serving mayor not to be in office for his own ball would be ridiculous, but it is a position that could not have been helped.”

LIVE BLOG: Coronavirus in North Somerset.

During 2019/20, the mayor and mayoress supported many organisations, businesses and charities through attendance at 230 engagements.

The council agreed councillor Clayton will be designated town mayor for 2021/22, with councillor Roger Bailey designated deputy mayor.

Cllr Canniford said: “It is a difficult decision to make but one that needs to be done.

“The mayor’s diary will be quiet over the coming months with many events either cancelled or suspended, but after that I will need a great deal of support from the mayoress and fellow councillors once they pick up again.

“It would be a shame and a pity for councillor Clayton not to get the opportunity he deserves to become town mayor.”

Cllr Bailey added: “I feel sorry for councillors Canniford and Clayton in this situation.

“James has done a tremendous amount of work as deputy mayor but we have been left with no real alternative but for councillor Canniford to continue for the next 12 months.”