Sunderland enters the race to get a Lord Mayor

Outgoing Sunderland Mayor Councillor Tom Martin hands over the chain of office to this year's new mayor Councillor Norma Wright at Sunderland Civic Centre recently.
Outgoing Sunderland Mayor Councillor Tom Martin hands over the chain of office to this year's new mayor Councillor Norma Wright at Sunderland Civic Centre recently.
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SUNDERLAND is in the running to get its own Lord Mayor.

The city has entered a competition to be granted Lord Mayoralty status by the Queen as part of her Diamond jubilee celebrations next year.

About 30 longer-established UK cities, such as Newcastle and York, already have Lord Mayors or Lord Provosts, and gaining the honour would be another boost to Sunderland’s reputation.

Coun Harry Trueman, deputy Sunderland Council leader, said it would build on Wearside’s successes since gaining city status in 1992.

He said: “That has done us a great deal of good, so if we’re successful in becoming a Lord Mayoralty it will do us no harm whatsoever and quite a lot of good.

“Just by entering our application the city’s profile will be raised – it will give us a chance to highlight our successes.”

Rival cities for the Lord Mayoralty title include Southampton, Derby, Cambridge, St Alban’s and Salford. The honour is expected to be given to only one city.

Entries have now been submitted and a full list of candidate cities is expected to be released in the coming days.

The winner will be announced early next year.

Coun Trueman said Sunderland’s application includes a range of information about the city’s history and traditions, famous residents, connections with Royalty and other distinctive features. It also tells the story of the continued transformation since 1992 when city status was granted. Maps and photographs of the city’s permanent features were also supplied.

Council officers said the cost of entering the competition was minimal, but should it be successful it would further distinguish Sunderland as an important English city.

Senior councillors on Sunderland’s ruling cabinet approved the application retrospectively at a meeting yesterday (WED).

Members were told the Government was looking for “vibrant, welcoming communities with interesting histories and distinct identities” to be given Diamond Jubilee honours.

A report put before the cabinet read: “Therefore the council needs to provide evidence of its ability to welcome people to the city and provide, promote or facilitate access to a wide variety of places, activities and events.”