Councillor Wayne Lawlor has been selected to be Croydon’s next deputy mayor.
A Labour councillor for South Norwood ward, Lawlor, aged 38, succeeds Patricia Hay-Justice, who after one year as deputy will step up to be Croydon Mayor for 2015 to 2016.
Although subject to a democratic vote of the full council at the Town Hall next month, Lawlor’s appointment to the honorary position by his party’s leadership is all-but-certain to go through.
A trusted and loyal supporter of Labour leader Tony Newman, having acted as Croydon Labour’s press officer, Lawlor is a trades union official who worked for Unite (what was previously the Transport and General Workers’ Union), until taking voluntary redundancy before becoming a councillor in May 2010.
The role of mayor and deputy mayor has few real powers, and is largely ceremonial, turning up in a chauffeur-driven car to open garden fetes and school jumble sales while wearing a chain of office.
In their year as mayor, the most testing task is to chair, impartially, meetings of the full council. Lawlor might expect to be Croydon Mayor in 2016-2017, at a time when things could start to get a little fractious in the run-up to the 2018 local elections.
Lawlor lived in South Norwood for six years. Like several Labour councillors who represent wards in Croydon North, he now lives in the south of the borough, having moved to his present home in Selsdon, which he shares with his partner.
Lawlor has described himself as “a general busybody”.
“I love to be out there doing something or fighting for someone,” said Lawlor.
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