Lord Mayor of Coventry to be appointed virtually for the first time

Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Ann Lucas is set to take over the role of Lord Mayor of Coventry from Cllr Linda Bigham as her term of office comes to an end.

Coventry City Council is to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), meaning a meeting at an irregular time, to allow the current Lord Mayor to pass on the Chains of Office and keep the Council business moving.

Normally, the role changes hands every 12 months at an Annual General Meeting followed by the Mayor-Making Ceremony, a sort of inauguration usually held at Coventry Cathedral, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, it will not be possible to hold a ceremony in the usual way this year.

Instead, an EGM has been called for Thursday 21 May, when current Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Ann Lucas will take over the role of Lord Mayor from Cllr Linda Bigham at the end of her term of office.

Cllr Lucas was the first female leader of Coventry City Council and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2014.

The City Council have said it will be a short meeting held virtually, which will also see Cllr John McNicholas named as Deputy Lord Mayor.

As well as being the civic figurehead for the city, the role of Lord Mayor also holds the post of Chair of the Council and presides over Full Council meetings – it is a non-political role.

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said he recognised that this is a “very difficult time” for Coventry, but that we must “keep moving forward at pace”.

“There are some very busy and challenging times ahead, but also some very exciting times for our city and this EGM will help to make sure we have everything in place to continue the great work that is transforming our city.

“I’d like to thank Cllr Bigham for the marvellous way she has represented Coventry as Lord Mayor over the past year, and congratulations to Cllr Lucas and Cllr McNicholas, who I know will carry on that work with great pride”, he concluded.

Cllr Gary Ridley, Leader of the Opposition Conservative Group, explained that “the role of Chair is a very important one and a key part of the democratic process”, continuing to describe the EGM as a “small but necessary meeting”.

“We look forward to another civic year and all the opportunities that will bring. Congratulations to Cllr Bigham on her year as Lord Mayor and I’d like to wish Cllr Lucas and Cllr McNicholas all the best in their new roles.”

The Extraordinary General Meeting will be held on Thursday 21 May at 11:00 am and will be broadcast live.