Lord Mayor

Lord Mayor of Plymouth

The Lord Mayor and the Lord Mayor’s Office are the council’s chief custodians of civic pride and its champions of community cohesion.  We also support others in the council and the community to celebrate all that is good about life in Plymouth.

The Office of Lord Mayor is representational by nature, this means that the Lord Mayor holds no executive powers and the office of Lord Mayor is fundamentally apolitical, neutral and independent.  This is one of its greatest strengths and means that the Lord Mayor can represent all sections of the community as First Citizen without fear or favour.  

At the same time the office of Lord Mayor carries its own unique set of rights and historic entitlements.  For example, the Lord Mayor of Plymouth has long been recognised as being second only to Royalty and to the Queen’s Deputy, the Lord Lieutenant or the Representative Deputy Lieutenant.

This means that the Lord Mayor has unlimited rights to precedence in the City and is always afforded due dignity and respect as the most important person in attendance at public events, save those where a member of The Royal Family and Her Majesty’s Deputy is present.  For civic events within the City boundaries where the Queen’s Deputy is present, but not a member of the Royal Family, the Lord Mayor enjoys precedence over all as First Citizen.

The Lord Mayor must be a serving councillor and each year the Conservative Party and the Labour Party (the two main political parties that make up the City Council) take it in turns to hold the position.  The Lord Mayor nominates their Deputy Lord Mayor.

The Role of Lord Mayor

The Lord Mayor is chosen by the other councillors who serve on the council and is elected in May each year at the annual meeting of the City Council.

The Lord Mayor has two important roles, a ceremonial role and as chair of City Council meetings.


  • Supports the community
  • Promotes the interests of the council and the city

Chair of City Council meetings

  • Makes sure all points of view are fairly heard
  • Makes sure council members follow rules and procedures
  • Has the casting vote if there is a tied vote

The Lord Mayor also hosts a series of civic events over the course of the year and presides over a number of high profile civic ceremonial events including: Holocaust Memorial Day, Commonwealth Flag Raising, VE Day, Armed Forces Day, Annual Survey of the Waterworks and Fishing Feast, Remembrance Sunday, Lord Mayor’s Carol Service.

Invitations to events

You can invite the Lord Mayor or Deputy Lord Mayor to an event or function, we need to receive your invitation at least three weeks before the event.

Invite the lord mayor to an event

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress

Councillor Chris Mavin and Councillor Sue Dann

Lord MayorCouncillor Mavin was born and raised in Plymouth and has lived in the City all his life. He was educated at Highfield Junior School and Devonport Secondary School.

In 1966 Chris entered the Royal Naval Dockyard at Devonport where he did his apprenticeship as a shipwright. He became a trade union activist, a shop steward and went on to become the GMB convenor at Babcock Devonport.

First elected to the city council in 1987 Chris has previously represented the Sutton and Budshead Wards and is currently the councillor for Moor View Ward. In total he has served the city for 23 years and was made an Alderman in 2014. Chris is currently on the Taxi Licensing Committee, and scrutiny. Chris works in the community and is a governor at Leigham Primary School.

Chris is a keen golfer a member of Boringdon Park and is vice-captain of Magily Golf Society raising funds for charity. Chris also loves singing and is a member of the Plymouth Area Police Choir, a keen football fan who has been known to sing his heart out for Plymouth Argyle at Wembley.

His chosen charity for the year is Moments Café and Memory Matters Hub (The Memory Café).

The Deputy Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lady Mayoress 

Councillor Darren Winter and Ms Helen Raynor

Deputy Lord Mayor

Councillor Winter was born in Ashford, Kent, raised in Gloucestershire, and moved to Plymouth in 1997 when he joined the Royal Navy as an Engineer.  

He served 17 years in the Royal Navy, on four Devonport based warships, and left the service in 2014.  

Darren now works in the Dockyard leading projects for Babcock.

Elected to the City Council as Councillor for St Budeaux Ward in May 2016 he has served the city for over four years. Darren has chaired scrutiny panels and led the Britain’s Ocean City Plastic Taskforce, targeting the city’s usage of unnecessary single use plastics.

Darren enjoys walks in the Devon countryside with his partner Helen, refining his barbequing skills, and spending time with his family.

The Lord Mayor’s Office

The Mayoralty is supported by a small civic team which advises the Lord Mayor in their role as First Citizen and ambassador of the city. The team also leads a comprehensive annual programme of civic engagements.

Over the course of the year the office arranges a varied programme of events and activities aimed at promoting community cohesion through civic engagement.  These are in addition to the day to day diary of engagements carried out by the Lord Mayor or those deputising on the Lord Mayor’s behalf.

The Lord Mayor’s Office is also responsible for the organisation of an annual programme of civic events including:

  • The Inauguration of the Lord Mayor (Lord Mayor’s Choosing) which is incorporated as part of the Annual Meeting of the Council in May of each year
  • Armed Forces Day/VE Day
  • Annual Survey of the Waterworks and Fishing Feast
  • Remembrance Sunday
  • Lord Mayor’s Carol Service
  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • Commonwealth Flag Raising
  • Lord Mayor’s Civic Church Service

The Office is also responsible for arranging special ceremonies where the city’s highest honours, The Honorary Freedom of the City of Plymouth, are presented. In addition, the office also manages all ceremonial arrangements for conferring the title of Honorary Alderman on councillors who have served 15 years on the Council.

If you would like any further information or wish to invite the Lord Mayor to attend and speak at your event or activity, contact the Lord Mayor’s Office, email lordmayor@plymouth.gov.uk.  

Coat of arms – Plymouth City

The armorial bearings of the Corporation of Plymouth symbolise much of the history of the city. The arms display the Cross of St Andrew to whom the Mother Church of Plymouth is dedicated, and also the four turrets which formed the corners of the Castle Quadrate which stood above the Barbican commanding the entrants to Sutton Pool. The description in heraldic language is Argent, a saltire vert between four towers sable.
The Crest is a blue naval crown with a red anchor held in a golden lions paw. Two other naval crowns form collars for the lion supporters. Both crown and anchor were part of the crest of the former County Borough of Devonport. Here is represented the part which the Royal Navy has played in the life of the city.

Council identity mark

The current city identity mark derives from elements of the armorial bearings

Past Lord Mayors

Our Mayors and Lord Mayors dating back to 1439 is available on our list of past Lord Mayors page.