Mace to be mayor of Lancaster

Roger Mace will be the next mayor of Lancaster.
Roger Mace will be the next mayor of Lancaster.

The next mayor of Lancaster has been decided.

Roger Mace will don the robes and chain from May 2017 after councillors gave him their unanimous backing at a meeting on Morecambe Town Hall on Wednesday.

Councillor Mace, who represents Kellet ward, will take over from the present mayor, Coun Robert Redfern, in May.

Coun Mace moved to Nether Kellet from Manchester in 1976 when he was appointed senior lecturer in accounting and finance at Lancaster University, where he worked until 1997.

He founded his own business as a designer and writer of computer software.

He has represented Kellet, now consisting of Arkholme, Borwick, Nether Kellet, Over Kellet and Priest Hutton, on the city council since 1999 and is a former leader of the Conservative group and leader of the council.

He and his wife Joyce, who will be mayoress, have two sons and a daughter.

Coun Mace was born in Birmingham and qualified as a chartered accountant after education at Solihull School, Bristol University and the London School of Economics.

He has been chairman of governors at Carnforth High School, a parish councillor at Nether Kellet and a founder member of the Friends of Nether Kellet School, where his children were pupils, the local environmental group EPIK (Environmental Protection in Kellet), and the Kellets Twinning Committee. Both Nether and Over Kellet are twinned with Bussieres near Lyon in France.

He was treasurer of the North Lancashire Counselling Service and has been a member of the Friends of Lancaster City Museum since its formation and chairman since 2014.

He is also a member of Lunesdale Camera Club and Lancaster Military Heritage Group.

A follower of Conservative politics since early schooldays, he is a former vice-chairman of the political research organisation the Bow Group and a founder member and current trustee of Morecambe and Lunesdale Conservative Association.

About the pros of being a city councillor, Coun Mace says: “Having the chance to represent common sense views on issues affecting local people, the local environment and the quality of life in the district.”

And the cons? “Not having as much power to influence council decisions as some voters might think.”

Each year the mayor of Lancaster is chosen based on seniority on the council.

Coun Geoff Knight, a Morecambe Bay Independent, was next in line but declined the role for 2017-18 due to work commitments.