Lord Mayor Steve Summers steps down from ‘best job in the world’
Hobnobbing with the Queen and President of Columbia among his highlights
05 May, 2017 — By The Xtra Diary
Steve Summers at his mayor-making with predecessor Christabel Flight
WHEN Steve Summers donned the blue Lord Mayor’s robes last year he said that fellow councillors had joked about him being “30 years too young”.
On Wednesday, as the councillor’s year as Westminster’s “first citizen” came to an end, they praised his maturity at a send-off in Porch- ester Hall, Bayswater.
With 900 engagements throughout the year, the role is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Cllr Summers said: “I said a year ago that I’ve bagged the best job in the best city in the world. I was right, it is the best job, I would highly recommend it. Every day you have to pinch yourself and say ‘oh my goodness, how have I managed to gatecrash this? What am I doing here?’
“There was nothing quite like standing on Horse Guards Parade with the Queen waiting for the president [of Colombia] to arrive.”
When the president did arrive, the Queen leaned over and said, “you’re in his patch now”, he told the meeting.
The deputy mayor, Cllr Robert Davis, said: “Here was the young, unassuming man from North Shields whose ancestors worked the mines, now first citizen of the greatest city in the world and hobnobbing with her Majesty, prime ministers, heads of states, as well as film and TV stars. It is also the year when he met his childhood heroes, Les Ferdinand and Ossie Ardilles.”
Mayor Summers travelled to Switzerland where he unveiled the exhibition of the Leicester Square glokenspiel, to Norway to cut down the Oslo Christmas tree, as well as Budapest and America in his civic role.
Another time, at Paddington Rec, he met some young people at an event. One girl shook his hand and said: “Wow, I’m never going to wash this hand again. I said, ‘no you should wash your hand’. She said, ‘but you’re really important’. I said, ‘no I’m not’, at that point she pointed to my chain and said ‘is that fake, then?’”
Cllr Summers added: “That’s one of the wonderful things about being Lord Mayor… you’re used to, as a politician, going into a room and, if you’re very, very, lucky, only half of the room hates you. It is lovely being Lord Mayor because everyone is nice to you.”