BOURNEMOUTH’S mayor elect has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown after he selected his own grandson as the official ‘Mayor’s Scout.’
Conservative Cllr Chris Mayne, who becomes Mayor today, originally rejected the candidate put forward by the Bournemouth Scouting Association in favour of his 11-year-old grandson.
The decision sparked accusations of foul play from scout leaders and parents.
Council chief executive Tony Williams had to intervene.
Following negotiations with all parties, a compromise has now been agreed that will see the Mayor’s grandson Noah Mayne-Venables hold the position for the first half of the year and Explorer Scout Charlie Pike, the scouts’ recommendation, take over for the second half.
Cllr Mayne said: “I thought it would be a nice opportunity for my grandson who is 11 years old and a keen scout.
“I went to democratic services who said they didn’t see a problem with it so that’s what I did.
“This has probably never happened before which is perhaps why it caused such a fuss. I didn’t expect any repercussions like this.”
Kieran Selby, the youth representative on Bourne-mouth Scouts’ Executive Committee, said: “We were disappointed that the mayor elect chose not to follow usual process. He ignored our advice and recommendation.
“A statement to Bourne-mouth Scouts’ members was made by the executive committee. This led many leaders, scouts and parents to contact the council.”
He said he was pleased with the compromise: “We believe that the strength of feeling was so strong that the council’s hand was forced. I am pleased we have reached an agreement on the matter.”
Tony Williams, the chief executive, said: “The council is happy to clarify the position. For 2014/15 the mayor-elect, Councillor Chris Mayne, will nominate two Mayor Scouts, Charlie Pike and Noah Mayne-Venables.
“This arrangement is not unusual as it is often the case to have two representatives of differing institutions over the year, for example the mayor’s chaplain.
“The announcement of the mayor’s two scouts and all mayoral representative posi-tions will be made at the council’s annual meeting this Friday.”
Darren Gilbert, Scouts district commissioner, said: “We are pleased that the mayor has recognised the value of two of our local scouts for the coming mayoral year. Bourne-mouth scouts will be focused on supporting the mayor for a successful year.”
The Mayor’s Scout and Guide accompany the mayor at civic engagements.