Cromer mayor uses casting vote against wearing chain of office
A bid to require Cromer's mayor to wear a chain of office has been narrowly defeated on the casting vote of the current post-holder.
Greg Hayman, who announced on his election as mayor last May: 'I don't do bling' used his casting vote against an amendment to Cromer Town Council's standing orders.
It would have meant the mayor had to wear regalia at all official engagements in the town, and outside Cromer unless protocol directed otherwise.
When the six-all vote was counted, Mr Hayman, who sports a variety of novelty neckwear at official functions, including a crab necklace, used his casting vote saying: 'It doesn't give me any pleasure to do this.'
Less than five minutes before the vote, two long-standing councillors who would have voted in favour had left the chamber. Vera Woodcock had to attend a medical appointment and Hilary Thompson was acting as her chauffeur.
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Both missed all votes on the amendments but on her return Ms Thompson told fellow councillors that being Cromer's mayor was an 'incredible honour.' She added: 'You are there for the whole of the town and their wishes - not for yourself.'
The vote was among several on changes to the council's standing orders which were decided in five minutes, after a 15-minute discussion on whether or not they should be discussed at yesterday's council meeting, or postponed until May.
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Among other changes voted through was a proposal that the mayor 'may appoint a spiritual advisor for the year' to offer guidance, help organise the civic service and lead it, along with churches and other faiths in the town.
Mr Hayman said he had found the counsel of both Anglican and Roman Catholic priests very useful during his term of office, 'both to get information in the round and also to get guidance, impartially and without criticism, as if from a helpful friend.'
Councillors also agreed that in future the mayor would only serve for one year in any four-year period.
But Mr Hayman's bid to alternate the mayor's role between the sexes, to try and give more women a chance to hold the office, was not brought to the vote. Clerk Julie Chance said it was not something the council was legally able to require.