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Council House Called Late To Politics

Coventry’s Council House may be based on a Tudor style, but it has only been officially open for 80 years.

It took four years for the building in Earl Street to be constructed by Edward Garret and HW Simister of Birmingham.

Coventry Council HouseThe building was finished in 1917, but because of the war, it was not opened until June 1920. The Duke of York, who later became George VI, performed the ceremony.

Many of the rooms are open to the public at all times, and the council actively encourage people to visit the council chamber during meetings.

But for Heritage Open Days one of the most prestigious parts of the building will be open that the public is not normally allowed into.

Many of the people of Coventry look up to the Lord Mayor, but only a chosen few are invited into the ceremonial rooms that go with the job.

This year’s incumbent, Cllr Sheila Collins, will be on hand in her ceremonial robes to welcome members of the public and explain about the history of the mayor’s position.

With all the civic grandeur that accompanies the mayor, people might think it is an ancient position. Indeed, the city has had a mayor for centuries

But the city was only granted the right to call the mayor the Lord Mayor in 1953 and is only one of 24 cities in he country to have one.

The Lord Mayor traditionally spends a year as Deputy Lord Mayor before moving up to the main role.

The Deputy Lord Mayor is chosen from the most experienced councillors able to take the role.

Each week both Lord Mayor and the Deputy have a busy diary at functions in the city and further afield representing the council, and the Lord Mayor chairs the council
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CWN / Heritage / Heritage Open Days / 23 Aug 00

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