In 1891 some 35 per cent of the Manx population was living in Douglas, placing additional demands on the town. The Douglas Municipal Corporation Act of 1895 provided for the election of 18 councillors for the town’s six wards with six aldermen elected by the councillors. This legislation enabled the formation of the Municipal Borough of Douglas in 1896.
The first Mayor of Douglas was Alderman Thomas Keig JP, a cabinet maker and amateur astronomer who helped pioneer photography in the Island. Since then 84 men and women have served the Borough as Mayor.
For the 2016-2017 municipal year the holder of the office is His Worship the Mayor of Douglas Mr Councillor John Edward Skinner JP.
The Mayoress is Mrs Gill Skinner, (pictured below.)
His Worship was elected to Douglas Borough Council on April 26, 2012 to serve Murrays Ward and, prior to being installed as Mayor of Douglas for the 2016-2017 civic year was chairman of the Regeneration and Community Committee.
He is married to Gill, who is supporting him as Mayoress of Douglas, and between them the couple have four children.
For more than 30 years he was a member of the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service and also served as a member of the
Born and bred in the Isle of Man he is a key ‘behind the scenes’ figure at the Gaiety Theatre, enjoys walking, reading, golf and travel, notably to musical concerts. As a councillor he was and now as Mayor he is an ardent supporter of the local community and throughout his year in office intends to connect with all sections of Manx society, to help to raise the profile of the many volunteer group and charitable organisations working hard to transform people’s lives. It is also his mission, supported by his wife as mayoress, to raise the mayoralty’s profile and that of the Borough of Douglas in its 120th anniversary year.
On accepting the nomination to serve as Mayor, he said it was ‘an honour to serve as the “face” of the Council and town’s first citizen’ and thanked his wife and family for their enduring support.
He added: ‘During the year the Mayoress and I are looking forward to working with many people and going out into and meeting members of our community across all age groups, particularly the younger ones.’
He added: 'It would be a great step forward if we afforded our schools the opportunity to hold at least one of their school council meetings in the Council chamber and, who knows, this may just sow seeds which, if nurtured carefully, will one day grow into future leaders of our town.’
The three charities to benefit from the 2016-2017 mayoral charity appeal are Anthony Nolan Isle of Man; Manx Decaf, which supports those living with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and carers; and Naseem’s Brain Tumour charity.