Birmingham City Council financial challenges - time to Reset

To find out more about the budget and section 114 notice visit our budget information page

Role of Lord Mayor

Dating back to 3 June 1896, the position of Lord Mayor is a civic, non-political and non-executive role, acting as Chair of Council and as the First Citizen of Birmingham; the Lord Mayor represents not only the city, but also the people of Birmingham. The deep-rooted tradition, standing, and impartiality of the office of Lord Mayor help to transcend barriers. The Lord Mayor also represents the Birmingham community at formal ceremonies and on both joyous and tragic occasions. The 113th and current Lord Mayor, is Cllr Chaman Lal.

Despite the common misconception, the Lord Mayor, Leader of the Council and Mayor (West Midlands) are 3 completely separate roles and people.

Left - Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Chaman Lal, Middle - Leader of the Council, John Cotton, Right - Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street.
Left - Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Chaman Lal, center - Leader of the Council, John Cotton, right - Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street.

The Lord Mayor is the chair of council meetings

This is a legal provision of the Local Government Act 1972, enabling council business to be carried out in an orderly and proper manner, having regard to statutory obligations and the constitution of the council for the conduct of meetings. The fact that the first citizen chairs the meetings of the full city council is an important symbol of the fact that the council itself is the council of the people of Birmingham.

The Lord Mayor is the first citizen of Birmingham

Many of the Lord Mayor’s duties are ambassadorial, representing the people and the city both at home and abroad. In doing so they meet a wide range of voluntary organisations, charities, employers, agencies, civic heads from other Local Authorities, consular and diplomatic representatives, visiting Heads of State and members of the Royal Family.

Responsibilities are many and varied and include, as examples:

  • presiding as ceremonial head for the council over its civic functions and social occasions
  • acting as a focal point in times of crisis, tragedy or triumph
  • hosting events, receiving and welcoming members of the Royal Family, dignitaries and visitors
  • taking part in functions as a representative of the people of Birmingham or the council
  • maintaining good relationships and links with the Armed Services and faith organisations
  • working proactively for the Lord Mayor’s Charity and supporting many other charities
  • promoting and raising the profile of many council initiatives and projects that benefit the citizens of Birmingham
  • celebrating local success and recognising achievements both internal and external to the council
  • opening significant buildings, exhibitions and businesses
  • acting as a reassuring reminder of tradition and constancy in a volatile world
  • acting as an ambassador for the city both nationally and internationally.

Page last updated: 12 January 2023

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