COLCHESTER’S annual mayor marking ceremony is going virtual for the first time due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The traditional ceremony at the Moot Hall normally sees councillors adorn robes before formally voting for the new mayor and deputy mayor in May each year.

The new mayor then celebrates with pictures on the town hall balcony and information about how they plan to help the community in the forthcoming year.

But the lockdown, which has now put Colchester into the high alert category, has put a stop to this year’s traditional May ceremony.

Instead incumbent mayor Nick Cope stayed on in the role for an extra five months.

Mr Cope is the first mayor to do so since Leonard Dansie, who served for 18 months between 1947 and 1949.

Independent councillor Beverley Oxford had been due to take up the reins but decided not to go ahead.

Instead, farmer and former Conservative group leader on the council, Robert Davidson, who represents Mersea and Pyefleet, is set to become the borough’s 188th mayor.

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In a departure from tradition Mr Davidson and his wife, Liz, will join the outgoing mayor and mayoress Mr Cope and his wife, Elizabeth, and senior council officials, for a small swearing in ceremony in the Grand Jury Room at Colchester Town Hall.


  • Nick Cope is made mayor back in May 2019

It will be streamed online for the first time where Mr Davidson, who was first elected as a councillor in May 1998, will receive the badge of office and his mayoral robe.

Labour councillor and former Labour group leader on the council Tim Young will become deputy mayor.

Mr Young, who has been a councillor since 1992, will be accompanied by his his partner, Nicola Goodchild as deputy mayoress.

Read more >>> Veteran councillor changes his tune on mayoralty and accepts nomination for deputy

Mr Davidson said: “Liz and I are tremendously honoured to represent the people of Colchester this year.

“Being nominated as mayor is an immense privilege and I hope we can highlight the extensive and wonderful work that is carried out by our volunteers and communities across the borough, of which we should be proud.”

He added: “During the Covid lockdown it was heartening to see how all the communities pulled together and helped each other, and I very much look forward to meeting those volunteers and communities during my mayoral term and seeing all the good work they achieve.

“It will be a huge pleasure to share this great occasion with all those who wish to attend online.”

The event takes place on October 21 at 6pm.

The ceremony will see Mr Davidson name several charities which will benefit from fundraising.

To watch the ceremony visit Youtube and search Colchester Borough Council.