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Life Lesson: The Mayor of the High Peak, Councillor George Wharmby.

 The Mayor of High Peak, Councillor George Wharmby

The Mayor is elected from the Councillors. The Councillors are from Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties plus one Independent . Whoever has the largest group chooses the Mayor. Each time they choose a mayor they lose points so the smaller groups have opportunities to choose next times.

George’s grandfather was elected in 1904 as a conservative councillor during the war. At that time, councillors were co-opted, not elected.

You are Mayor for a year. 11th May is the end so there’s a Mayor elect already.

The mayor has a very busy schedule which is organised two or three month’s notice. At a Foody Friday event, he met Thomas and Isabelle who invited him to our school.

The Mayor visits hospitals at Christmas; old peoples’ homes and charities. He does all types of visits – opening new businesses, for example. He has an important role in supporting businesses who contribute to the local economy allowing schools to function, street lights to be lit, dustbins to be emptied.

It is an unpaid role but with a small allowance as a Councillor. You do it for the love of meeting people in the High Peak.

The Worshipful Mayor of the High Peak, please be upstanding. ‘

The mace is chartered by royal assent - that’s why there’s a crown on top. It is kept in the Town Hall and is made of solid silver kept in a box of solid oak. The crest is the Buxton crest given to Buxton in memory of Mr and Mrs T. Ryan of Shirebrook 1919. Originally used as a weapon of war - the oldest universal weapon.

The position is apolitical even though the original vote was from a particular political party.

People can rely on the Mayor – like the other Councillors. People can ask councillors if they have a problem. The Mayor can take the problem forward, or tell the person asking which department to talk to. Councillor George Wharmby feels very honoured to be a Mayor. The skills you need: life skills, reading and writing. He left school at 15 and went into the building trade. He and his wife, Jean started their own business and were self-employed for 30 years. He never stopped learning.

When no longer a mayor, the Mayor will resume his job as a Councillor, representing St John’s, Charlesworth. There’s no special house for mayors but there is if you are Lord Mayor.

The chain is 18ct gold. The large medal at the front is the emblem of the High Peak and was made in 1974. Before then there were smaller borough councils (Bus, Glossop) now c-el-frith. 73,000 people live in the Borough of High Peak.

I’d have liked to be a farmer. I have a black Labrador called Daisy who curls up on the sofa when she shouldn’t do really.


  • Station Road,
  • Buxworth,
  • High Peak,
  • Derbyshire,
  • SK23 7NJ.
  • Tel: 01663 732426