Ceremonial Mayor - general information
The office of Mayor has existed in Hartlepool for at least 700 years. The first recorded Mayor of Hartlepool was Andreas Bruntoft in 1315, although the office could have existed up to 100 years earlier during the reign of King John.
Medieval Mayors were at first appointed by the King or a Bishop, but as towns were granted their own Royal Charters and the right to choose a Mayor came to belong to the town’s Aldermen or Freemen. The name Mayor comes from an early French work for a judge or magistrate. His original role was to run the day-to-day Civic business of a town, including judging legal cases, collecting taxes from imported goods , ensuring that traders used fair weights and measures, and organising the defence of the town.
The role of Mayor as we would recognise it today grew out of the 1835 Municipal Reform Act, which made the Mayor the official elected head of a Borough, sometimes called “The First Citizen”.
In modern times the Mayor is usually chosen by all Councillors, who in turn are directly elected by the votes of local people. The Mayor formally represents the Borough in civic ceremonies such as opening public buildings or welcoming Royal visits, and has a considerable role in supporting charitable organisations.
Between 2002 and 2012 Hartlepool had an Elected Mayor, directly voted for by the local electorate. During this time, the Council appointed a Chairman, selected by Elected Councillors, who assumed much of the traditional ceremonial role and chaired Council meetings. The Elected Mayor served three terms in this role before a referendum returned Hartlepool Borough Council to the system of Mayors being selected by elected Councillors.
Councillor Paul Beck is the current Ceremonial Mayor and Councillor Allan Barclay is the Deputy Ceremonial Mayor.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Hartlepool, Councillor Paul Beck and his wife Mary.