Fareham mayor says it’s an insult to his title to not be invited to gala

The Portchester Gala
The Portchester Gala
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THE mayor of Fareham has said it’s an insult to his position not to be formally invited to an event.

Councillor David Norris claims he was not invited to the Portchester Gala by the organisers and said, although it hasn’t affected him personally, he does think it’s an insult to the mayor title.

For the past few years, the mayor has opened the annual event but this year Fareham MP Mark Hoban had that honour.

But, Cllr Norris, who represents the Portchester ward at Fareham Borough Council, thought he might have been invited along like he is to other community events in the borough.

He said: ‘I have been asked by people why I didn’t attend the gala and some have sounded quite accusatory.

‘One suggested that I had refused to go.

‘But the people who run it, whoever they are, never asked for me attend. This is strange because the mayor always attends events in which the public are involved.

‘People have been thinking I refused to go but that wasn’t the case.

‘I don’t know what it’s all about.

‘Personally it hasn’t affected me but I think it is an insult to the mayor whoever they are.’

To book the mayor for an occasion, organisers have to fill out an online form and apply two weeks prior to the event.

Cllr Norris added: ‘My mayor’s diary is really busy and people normally invite me weeks in advance.

‘Organisers of the Stubbington Fair booked me the day after I became mayor and on the weekends, I sometimes have two events a day.’

But Sarah Moss, manager of the Portchester Community Association, who hosted the event, said she wasn’t aware the mayor had to be formally invited.

‘We didn’t need the mayor to open the gala because we had the MP Mark Hoban,’ she said.

‘I wasn’t aware that the mayor had to be formally invited just to attend.

‘The Portchester Gala is an open event and anyone can attend.’

But for leader of the council, Councillor Sean Woodward, it was surprising that the mayor didn’t open the gala.

He said: ‘From my recollection, I have attended a number of Portchester Galas, which is a fantastic community event, and the mayor has played a role and opened the event.

‘I was surprised that the Mayor was not invited.’