Councillor Ross Irving has been appointed as Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent.
First elected back in 1973 and with more than 40 years’ service with the city council, during which he’s held many senior positions including council leader, Cllr Irving (main image) is one of the most senior and experienced councillors in the city. This is his second time as Lord Mayor, which is an ambassadorial role for the city and is regarded as a ceremonial position in the council.
This year, the Lord Mayor’s term of office will be the shortest in its history with only eight months to serve as a result of coronavirus. In spite of the challenges posed by the virus, Cllr Irving is looking forward to his time as Stoke-on-Trent’s first citizen.
Cllr Irving said: “We continue to go through huge amounts of uncertainty with coronavirus and through my role as Lord Mayor. I aim to bring an element of stability when all around us is unclear. One of my aims during this year is to promote the city’s business potential whenever and wherever I can. This is a city that has started to really soar and I want to make sure everyone knows about the great work that is done here. This is a truly historic time for the country and it will be good to know that I can help to advocate for this city when we possibly need it the most. Civic duties won’t be quite what they were in my first term of office, but I’m keen to use technology – with the assistance of officers at the council – to continue to connect with people across the city. Wherever I can, I’ll also be following the ‘new normal’ guidance to undertake my civic duties and I’m open to suggestions from citizens about what they’d like me to get involved with as first citizen.”
It is usually tradition for the new Lord Mayor to announce which charities they will be raising money for during their time in office. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been decided to wait and see how the next several months unfold before any decisions are made, with the organising and staging of events currently heavily restricted.
Cllr Irving said: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, I didn’t believe it would be wise to make commitments to charities that could be impossible to meet. It’s unlikely we are going to be in a position to raise money on the scale we have done in the past through events such as the Lord Mayor’s Ball for example, but I would still like to do something. If the circumstances allow, I hope to be in a position to recognise the tremendous work many groups and organisations are carrying out in the city and wider community on a day-to-day basis, particularly in the last few months. I’ll do my utmost to engage with volunteers and the charitable sector.”
The Lord Mayor has two adult children and six grandchildren. He will be supported in his duties by Ms Christine Warren who will become Lady Mayoress – a role she previously held when Cllr Irving was last Lord Mayor.
Councillor Chandra Kanneganti has been appointed as Deputy Lord Mayor for the city council. He is a councillor for the Goldenhill and Sandyford ward and is a senior partner GP at the Goldenhill Medical Centre. Cllr Kanneganti lives with his wife Sai, and three boys Yatin, Amar and Jai in Stoke-on-Trent. He said: “I’m deeply humbled by this opportunity to serve this great city as Deputy Lord Mayor, and Sai as Deputy Lady Mayoress. I’m very much looking forward to developing the profile of our city.”