A MAYOR’S role could be under threat, it has been confirmed.

Radical proposals were announced at Manningtree Town Council last month, to merge the town with the surrounding parishes of Mistley and Lawford.

The proposal originated from the Stour Valley Market Towns Initiative group and those in favour argue it could provide more funding opportunities for projects in the areas.

But the change would mean Manningtree loses its title of England’s smallest town, which was officially recognised in 2007.

Michael Dew, district councillor for Manningtree, told the latest meeting that he had since looked at documents that spell out what would happen if the change went ahead.

“The number a big parish would have is 12, 13, at tops 14 councillors, that's what this guidance says.

“If we work that out that there will be two councillors for Manningtree instead of seven.”

He added: “The whole thing will be negotiable.”

Mr Dew said he also enquired about the big parish being divided up into wards but this would require more money and work to organise.

“The biggest question is will the position of Mayor continue- but the answer is no, because the Mayor is for Manningtree, the town with the charter,” he said.

Before the changes happen, a referendum would have to be held, costing around £3,000, Mr Dew added.