Councillor Margaret Wells is set to become the next Lord Mayor of York. 

Leader of the City of York Council, Cllr Claire Douglas, nominated Cllr Wells for the historic role at the full council budget meeting on Thursday, February 22. 

However, the position will have fewer perks than before, as changes to the position of the Lord Mayor of York were approved to save £10,000 on February 21. 

This includes not allowing the Lord Mayor to reside at the Mansion House, reducing the use of private cars and reducing the number of occasions the historic sword and mace are used. 

The Lord Mayor and the Sheriff’s personal allowances will also be reduced. 

Cllr Wells, who has lived in York all her life, studied social policy at the University of York later in life following the birth of her second child. 

She represents the Clifton ward and her nomination was seconded by her fellow Labour councillor on the Clifton ward, Cllr Danny Myers. 

Cllr Wells said: “It is a huge honour to be elected as Lord Mayor. 

“I have lived in York my whole life as did my parents.

“My grandparents on both sides moved to York early in their lives, some as toddlers before the First World War and others during the First World War to work during the war effort.

“So York’s history, culture and customs run strongly through my veins.

“I still have photos of me dressed up selling programmes for the Lord Mayor’s parade back in 1973.”

Fiona Fitzpatrick, a former teacher and a former City of York councillor, will be her Sheriff.

However, another change in the next Lord Mayor's role will make it obligatory that the mayor’s charity donations go to the York Community Fund.

Conservative leader Cllr Chris Steward slammed the move.

“It is wrong and bizarrely dictatorial that Labour will decide who the Lord Mayor’s charity should be,” Cllr Steward said. 

“Lord Mayors have always picked their own charity and often a number. 

“The Labour leader picking the charity will lessen the unique nature of the Lord Mayor’s year and will also no doubt reduce the amount of money raised, given that the Lord Mayor will pick one or more charities that they are passionate about and will supply volunteers from within the charities and not to raise the money.”