City council leader to stand down from role, but looks set to be Norwich’s next Lord Mayor

Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

The leader of Norwich City Council looks set to step down from the role - after she was nominated to become the city's next Lord Mayor.

Brenda Arthur, who has been leader of the Labour-controlled city council since May 2011, would have to relinquish the leadership role to take on the civic role.

She was tonight nominated to succeed Liberal Democrat Judith Lubbock as the city's Lord Mayor in the summer. Only serving city councillors can take up the role, which is primarily ceremonial.

Nominating her, the city council's deputy Alan Waters, who is likely to be a candidate to replace Ms Arthur as leader, said: 'I probably know better than most what an excellent leader she has been and currently is. It's a role in which she has excelled.'

Ms Arthur has lived and worked in Norwich since 1969, She trained as a scientist, working at the Food Research Institute.

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But, after her sons were born, she became a community and youth worker for Norwich City Council. She then took on a role at City Hall promoting activities for the retired.

In 1990, she became chief executive of Age Concern Norwich, a post which she held for 17 years, before her retirement in 2007.

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She served as the city's Sheriff in 2005/6, before becoming a city councillor for University ward in 2008. She originally held the portfolio for housing and adult services, but succeeded Steve Morphew as leader in 2011.

Her husband is Brian Horner, chief executive of Voluntary Norfolk.

The city council also nominated its pick to be the next Sheriff of Norwich, to succeed former Norfolk coroner William Armstrong.

If agreed by the council at its annual general meeting in May, Beryl Blower will wear the chains.

She spent 15 years as a school swimming teacher, worked for Norfolk Adult Education Service as a tutor and is a life member of Norwich in Bloom. She is also a trustee/director of Norfolk Carers Support.

She is also involved with the Koblenz twinning group and is secretary of the City of Norwich Civic Association.

Mrs Blower is no stranger to City Hall. Her husband, Roy, is a former Labour city councillor. He stepped down in 2011, after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

Mrs Blower was Lady Mayoress during her husband's spell as mayor in 2007/8.

Norwich is one of only 31 UK cities to appoint a Lord Mayor.

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor. Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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