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17,500 back Magid Magid as Sheffield Lord Mayor...47 don’t but do people know exactly what the role involves?

The current Lord Mayor Magid Magid
The current Lord Mayor Magid Magid

The role of Sheffield’s Lord Mayor came under scrutiny after councillors realised many people don’t understand the job.

Councillors were forced to debate the issue when they received a petition of 47 names calling for the abolition of Lord Mayor Magid Magid – and another petition with 17,500 names in support of him.

If a petition has more than 5,000 signatures, it automatically triggers a debate at full council but this was a unique occasion when councillors were forced to discuss their own Lord Mayor.

Council Leader Julie Dore says a scrutiny board will now discuss the role of the Lord Mayor.

She said: “Each Lord Mayor brings their own perspective, personality and priorities to the role. They will carry out routine duties but also do their own additional activities.

“I have been on the council for 20 years and never seen such a public debate. There seems to be a lack of understanding of the Lord Mayor’s role so I propose to refer this to scrutiny with a view to look at how we can raise the profile of the Lord Mayor but also clear up some of the misunderstandings of what the role is.”

The Lord Mayor is unelected and chosen by fellow councillors each year. As a civic figurehead they have no real powers but raise money for charity. They should be impartial and non political while in office. And it’s a completely separate role from the directly elected Sheffield City Region Mayor.