Meet the new Lord Mayor of Bristol, Steve Smith

Who is the Lord Mayor of Bristol?

The newly appointed Lord Mayor of Bristol is Steve Smith. Steve grew up in Birmingham and moved to Bristol in 2005 after marrying his wife, now Lady Mayoress Kath. The Lady Mayoress was born and raised in Westbury-on-Trym, where they now have lived for over 16 years, bringing up their two children. Steve also represents Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze as one of the councillors. 

Steve wants to use his time as Lord Mayor to shine a light on volunteers across Bristol, and to thank them for the incredible work they do to make our city a better place. 

The History of Bristol’s Lord Mayors

There has been a Lord Mayor since 1899, following Queen Victoria’s decision to grant Bristol this privilege. The Lord Mayor is a different role from that of the elected Mayor of Bristol. The Lord Mayor must always be a serving councillor and each of Bristol’s political groups takes turns in holding the position. He is the first citizen of the city and county of Bristol. The Lord Mayor is elected by other councillors, unlike the mayor who is elected directly by the citizens of Bristol. He serves a one-year term, compared to the Mayor of Bristol who serves for four years. The role is mostly ceremonial but they also chair meetings such as the full council meetings. It’s normal practice that when the lord mayor steps down, he carries the Deputy Lord mayor’s role. 

What does the Lord Mayor do?

As the first citizen of Bristol the Lord Mayor carries out over 800 engagements a year; from major civic events such as the annual remembrance Sunday parade and service meeting to supporting and connecting local communities and organisations. Every year, the Lord Mayor’s Christmas appeal for children helps hundreds of children in Bristol with vouchers for food, toys, and clothing. The appeal is run by Rotary, Round Table, and Lions Clubs, with the Lord Mayor as the patron of the appeal.

Electing the Lord Mayor:

The Lord Mayor is elected on an annual basis in May at a “mayor making” ceremony where all the councillors meet and vote. Each of Bristol’s political groups alternates each year to fill the position. The Lord Mayor’s term begins immediately after the ceremony and there’s no limit to the number of times someone can serve.

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