Regarding the plans for the Northgate development, are you championing the scheme ?
I think there’s a question mark over the level of consultation and whether or not the consultation we committed ourselves to , is taking place. We shouldn’t be making decisions before that consultation has taken place…
You are passionate about our tourist industry. What do you think sets Chester apart?
Its the breadth and depth of our history that we can draw upon. We can go back to AD 58 when the first Romans pitched up  on the Roodee and decided to set up a camp. We can go through the medieval period, the Saxon period…we’ve got everything. I don’t think we utilise it as much as we should. We are great around our Roman history, but we have a lot of Saxon and Medieval that we could also use. The Sealed Knot did a fantastic job with the Civil War re-enactment last year. It’s not utilising that breadth of history that we have. But what you don’t want to do is dilute the message , if people think of Chester they usually want a bolted on image. If that’s Romans that great, if it gets them here. But once they’re here lets talk about the Saxons and the Civil wars and whatever else we might have.

Paying tribute to the Siege of Chester August 2015

The thing I thing we don’t have is a must see paid attraction. We don’t have a Warwick castle or a Jorvik centre. We have lots of great free attractions.. the Cathedral, the museum, Chester zoo, the largest visitor attraction outside of London, not free obviously.  But we don’t have that big draw . If you’re a family that wants to come and stay in a place like Chester for 2 or 3 nights. We need something to entertain mum and dad, the cultural centre.. we need shopping, which interests the family, we can do that in the Northgate development . But then what’s that family link?
To my thinking it should be based around the amphitheatre, its under utilised and isn’t the draw that it should be. We have the challenge of Dee house that sits on top of it. I can remember talking about it when I joined Chester city council, in the 1990s it was occupied by BT. As far as I am aware no one has approached English heritage to ask if we can de-list this. If we could that would open up an opportunity. The second way is to use the building as part of the visitor centre. If we had something along the lines of a visionary interactive experience, the kids can see Gladiator and lions coming at them in 3D…You could enter it from the amphitheatre and build on the experience. My concern is , that because its up for change of use, it will become residential and we have lost it for 125 years.
If someones visiting the city for the first time what are your 'must see' top 3 attractions?
Grosvenor Museum, Cathedral, and the Heights of the museum.. and the third one would be the city walls. Its a great way to circumnavigate the city and take in all the attractions.
If you have some spare time what do you like to do in the city?
Eating out. We have some fantastic restaurants in Chester. We have the great news ones which have opened up in Pepper st. You can go from there to the Grosvenor or Edgar House , they have opened a new restaurant recently.
Does being Lord Mayor bring with it certain perks? Do you get a free coffee in Costa, or if you’re parked on double yellow lines do they let you get away with it ?
If only! There are certainly no financial perks of the job. We get the odd gift, a Chinese business delegation gave us a lovely plaque made from bamboo. But that goes back into the Town Hall and becomes part of the collection.

Championing Hoole’s Great British High Street Campaign along with Cllr Dixon

Do you get recognised a lot?
Yes I do. You can see people looking at you, the longer you’ve been in the role . One thing that has surprised me is how many people want a photograph with the Lord Mayor!
You have a presence on twitter. Do you enjoy getting involved in debates and do you get any trolls?
Yes and yes. Rightly or wrongly I tend to tolerate trolls. Some people are just not particularly very pleasant. While there’s a part of me that says we should take that as par for the course, you’ve got to be careful how this leads into bullying and cyberbullying. It affects people differently. If you’ve got broad shoulders, it probably washes over you , some people are a bit more sensitive so we do have to be careful.

Civic Duty: cutting the ribbon at B&M

What events have you got coming up ?
The biggest one will be the St George’s Day parade. I have no idea what it involves, but it will all be in the best taste and great fun. These big cultural parades are a great way to showcase Chester.
Where do you keep the Chains and Robe and do you take them home at night?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you! They are kept in a secret location.
hugo "Because if you really want to look professional? You ask the Mayor for a selfie..."
With many thanks to Cllr Deynem and to @ShitChester 
For more about the Lord Mayor visit
You can also read many more blogs on all the wonderful things Chester has to offer over on the @ShitChester blog r The Chester blog 

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