Regular meetings of the ‘chain gang’

ON TOUR Fareham's mayor Mike Ford was shown around the Warsash Maritime Academy
ON TOUR Fareham's mayor Mike Ford was shown around the Warsash Maritime Academy
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Fareham mayor, Cllr Mike Ford, focuses on his relationship with mayors across the county

What do mayor’s do when they get together and is there indeed a collective for a group of mayors?

To answer the latter first, yes there is and it is commonly known as a ‘chain gang’, a pretty clever description in fact.

One of the absolute joys of our year in office has been meeting on a regular basis, the mayors and chairmen of all the local authorities in Hampshire. Most of our towns and cities have a mayor.

Portsmouth is unique in the county in that it has a Lord Mayor, a position granted by Royal Charter, but some of the more rural areas have a chairman as their equivalent.

These include Hampshire County Council, the Isle of Wight, East Hampshire and Hart in the north of the county.

We meet up on a pretty regular basis, as we are usually all invited to major events, many of which take place in Winchester.

These are often in the magnificent cathedral that has stood on or around its current site since the seventh century.

There are in particular, two events every year that bring us mayors together.

Early on in our year we hold a civic service usually at the mayor’s local church.

Ours was held at St Mary’s here in Warsash (where we were married!) and was a lovely event attended by many of our mayoral colleagues.

The other event that brings us all together and was a highlight of our own year to date is the mayor’s civic day.

This gives us the opportunity to effectively ‘show off’ our town to our guests from across the county for a day.

We are so fortunate to have so many unique establishments here in Fareham
 – Portchester Castle, The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson and Titchfield Abbey to name but a few.

We, however, chose to take our guests to the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) at Swanwick and the Warsash Maritime Academy, both of whom gave us a tour around and a fascinating insight into their operations.

We have already agreed that following the end of our year in office in May, we will all keep in touch socially as it would be a real shame to end abruptly, so many lovely friendships that we have forged.

n The Mayor of Fareham is elected by his/her fellow councillors in May each year. and does not have any political allegiances.

For more information about the Mayor’s work phone 01329 824303 or email mayorpa@fareham.gov.uk