A COUNCILLOR of 10 years is to follow in the footsteps of his wife as he is set to be sworn in as the new Lord Mayor of Oxford next week.

James Fry, an Oxford city councillor for the Walton Manor ward, will take the chains of office at Oxford Town Hall on Wednesday.

His wife, Susanna Pressel, was Lord Mayor between 2008 and 2009, and is set to become chair of Oxfordshire County Council this year.

Oxford Mail: Susanna Pressel was Lord Mayor of Oxford between 2008 and 2009. Picture: Jon LewisSusanna Pressel was Lord Mayor of Oxford between 2008 and 2009. Picture: Jon Lewis

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Mr Fry said: “It is a great honour and privilege to have been chosen as Oxford’s next Lord Mayor in the year when, by coincidence, my wife Susanna becomes chair of the county council.

“When she was Lord Mayor, I saw what a wonderful opportunity the role offers to get to know more about the city where we have lived since student days.

“The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will provide an extra reason to celebrate the city, its people and its institutions during my term of office.”

Oxford Mail: File photo of James Fry. Picture: Antony MooreFile photo of James Fry. Picture: Antony Moore

Mr Fry studied at both New College and Nuffield College, going on to teach economics at Magdalen College.

He then founded LMC International, a consultancy which focuses on the economics of agriculture, and is based in Oxford.

Mr Fry chairs the city council’s audit and governance committee, with the Lord Mayor’s charities for 2022-2023 to be Aspire Oxfordshire, Asylum Welcome and Emmaus.

The Lord Mayor generally carries out more than 300 engagements each year, ranging from royal visits and leading the council’s Remembrance Sunday service, to community group meetings and charity events.

The first recorded Mayor of Oxford is Turchillus, who held the honour between 1122 and 1123, with mayors’ names stretching in an unbroken line until 1962, when the dignity of the Lord Mayor was granted to Oxford by Elizabeth II.

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Guests and fellow councillors will watch the traditional ceremony in person, as the retiring Lord Mayor of Oxford since November 2020, Mark Lygo, officially steps down and hands over his chains of office to Mr Fry.

Mr Lygo will be appointed Deputy Lord Mayor, while Mike Rowley – the city council’s cabinet member for citizen focused services – will be appointed Sheriff.

Oxford Mail: Current Lord Mayor of Oxford, Mark Lygo. Picture: Richard CaveCurrent Lord Mayor of Oxford, Mark Lygo. Picture: Richard Cave

The councillors nominated to the three civic posts were announced at a council meeting on February 16.

The appointments will now go before the Annual Council meeting for approval, on Wednesday.

The bells of Carfax Tower will be rung by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers to commemorate the ceremony.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice

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