The Chairman is the First Citizen in the District and takes precedence over all others including Town Mayors. This excludes royalty and Her Majesty's deputy, the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, who take precedence over the Chairman.
Local authorities that have been granted Borough status by the Crown have no more powers than District Councils, but the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Borough Councils have the right to be styled "Mayor" and "Deputy Mayor".
The Chairman represents the District at all civic ceremonial events. He will wear his Chain and Badge of Office but for a large majority of the functions he attends he wears his Badge of Office on a ribbon. It is the Badge that is the symbol of his authority.
The Chairman also chairs full meetings of the Council and conducts the meeting in a fair and impartial manner. He is formally appointed to the Office at the first meeting of the Council in the Municipal Year. As Chairman, he cannot be a Member of the Cabinet, although he may be a Member of any of the Council's committees but only in his capacity as an ordinary Member of the Council.
The Chairman always has precedence in Sevenoaks District, except in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen or Her representative.
During any speeches, the presence of the Chairman of the District Council should be acknowledged first: e.g. Chairman of the District Council, Town Mayor, others (assuming a Royal visitor or the Lord Lieutenant of Kent is not present). Precedence should also be noted when asking the Chairman and other guests to perform duties, e.g. the laying of wreaths.
If a Mayor or Chairman is attending any event within the Sevenoaks District, they should first seek our Chairman’s permission before wearing chains. This includes any Town Mayoral event within the District.