On Monday, School Council were invited by The Mayor of Bromley to host their half termly meeting in the Bromley Council Chambers at The Civic Centre. On arrival, we were greeted by Peter,
The Mayor’s Assistant who accompanied us to The Chambers. In the corridor to The Chambers are photographs of all the Mayors who have
held office since Bromley Council was established
We conducted our School Council meeting with louder voices than usual and discussed our items on the agenda:
our class sponsored events and what we can do to support sustainability, particularly recycling.
At the end of our meeting, Peter brought the Mayor to join us: he knocked on the door and asked us to all stand as they formally processed towards The Mayor’s seat at the Head of The Council Chamber. The Mayor was wearing his traditional ‘civic regalia’ of his red robe and his chain of office and Peter was carrying the official Mayoral mace. The Mayor requested permission to address our School Council and then welcomed all members to his Chambers. We asked him a host of interesting questions which included:
“What is the most enjoyable thing you do as Mayor? “(Tilly)
“Meeting all the different people in Bromley.”
“Do you need to have any heritage to be The Mayor?”(Adnan)
“No, but before you become The Mayor you have to be a councillor and then the councillors have to nominate you and elect you democratically.”
“How long are you Mayor for?” (Zoe)
“A year, from May to May the following year, so I’m half way through my year now.”
We also found out that The Mayor’s wife has been Mayor twice before him and that she finds it difficult to let him be the boss!
After our School Council meeting had ended, The Mayor and Peter processed out. We were then invited to Rochester Palace where the Mayor’s office is located. The Bishop of Rochester would stay here when he was travelling to London as it was too far to travel all in one day. The wooden entrance hall reminded us of our school as it had a grand staircase just like ours.
In The Mayor’s Drawing Room, which used to be a bedroom, Peter showed us the 5 different chains of offices that belong to the 5 different areas that make up The Council of Bromley : Orpington, Beckenham, Penge, Chislehurst and Bromley and Polina and Knight had the opportunity to dress up as The Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
Following this, we were allowed to visit The Mayor’s Office (which also used to be a bedroom) where he works everyday. He has a visitor’s book which is signed by The Queen and Prince Philip and we asked him more questions about things that he had in his office.
To conclude our visit, we were taken to The Mayor’s Function Room which backs onto a beautiful garden and were given juice and biscuits before returning to school.