From the Telegraph:
Colin Hall said religion had no role to play in the conduct of council business.
Mr Hall, who has just taken over the mayorship in Leicester, said the “majority” of councillors and city council staff were not practising Christians therefore there was little point in having the prayers, which were introduced in 1997 and stopped for a year between 2005 and 2006.
Writing in this month’s edition of the Leicester Secularist, the journal of the city’s Secular Society, Cllr Hall, who will serve as Lord Mayor for the 2010-11 municipal year, said: “Contrary to the myths that certain organisations like to promote, the practice of observing prayers at the start of council meetings is a relatively recent one.“I am delighted to confirm that I will be exercising my discretion as Lord Mayor to abolish the outdated, unnecessary and intrusive practice.
“I personally consider that religion, in whatever shape or form, has no role to play at all in the conduct of council business.
“This particularly applies in Leicester where the majority of council members, myself included, do not regularly attend any particular faith service.”