Steve steps up as Acting Lord Mayor

LABOUR councillor Steve Pearce has been made Acting Lord Mayor while the Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul Goggin,  recovers from health problems.  

Councillor Pearce, who represents St George West, will serve for three months. He has resigned from his position as leader of the Labour Group of councillors and has been replaced by Councillor Tom Renhard, who represents Horfield and is cabinet member for housing.

Councillor Pearce, who is standing down at next year’s local elections, said: “As people know, the Lord Mayor has been seriously ill over the summer. He’s eager to fulfil as many of his duties as possible when he’s out from hospital but his top priority needs to be his recovery – his return to work will need to be phased, so not to rush him.

 “As such, following discussions with the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor, and Party Group Leaders, councillors have appointed me as Acting Lord Mayor for a term of three months. This will allow the Lord Mayor to take up as many events as he feels able to do, with myself available to cover other events.

 “Being the First Citizen of Bristol is a huge honour. It’s a position steeped in a rich history and I’m humbled that I’m able to do it, even if only on a temporary basis. I’m looking forward to meeting members of the public and attending all manner of events as Lord Mayor – but even more so, I’m looking forward to Paul being able to that again himself. I know how much he’s missed being Lord Mayor and how much he wants to return to his duties.

 “I would like to thank the Deputy Lord Mayor, former Lord Mayors and aldermen for stepping in to help during his absence. The Lord Mayor and I are very grateful for everything they’ve done over the last few months.”

The role of Lord Mayor is largely ceremonial but also involves chairing full council meetings.

Councillor Goggin, who represents Hartcliffe and Withywood, developed pleurisy – inflammation of the lining of the lung – following a bout of pneumonia in June and had to be placed into a medically induced coma for a month.