WIRRAL’S controversial former leader Steve Foulkes is being lined up by his group to become the borough’s “first citizen”.
Labour’s Steve Foulkes was formally nominated by the borough’s ruling cabinet to become the next deputy mayor. The move means he will be expected to become mayor in 2014.
Current deputy mayor Dave Mitchell, a Liberal Democrat councillor, was nominated to be mayor later this year when Cllr Gerry Ellis steps down after his year in office.
Tory leader Jeff Green said his former opposite number was a “surprising choice” but said it was a “matter for the Labour party”.
Cllr Green said: “I’m surprised they have chosen someone who is a divisive figure.”
The nomination was approved at a group meeting of the Labour party and then formally moved by the council’s ruling Labour-controlled cabinet.
Deputy mayors are usually nominated to become mayor, and it means Cllr Foulkes is likely to take up the position in 2014, when The Open returns to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, bringing the spotlight back to the borough.
The three parties in Wirral council take turns nominating one of their councillors to the position, which is seen as a non-political role. The mayor role includes chairing full meetings of the council as well as attending civic functions and representing the borough.