Manchester City Council

The Council & democracy The Lord Mayor's Office

The Lord Mayor of Manchester

Councillor Carl Austin-Behan

Councillor Carl Austin-Behan was born in North Manchester.  The youngest of three brothers, he grew up in Crumpsall, where his mother, Vera, still lives.

He attended Crumpsall Lane Infant and Junior Schools, Abraham Moss High School and was a member of the 42nd Manchester Boys Brigade based at St Matthew with St Mary’s Church which he attended from the age of 5 to 19.  

After leaving school at the age of 16, he worked in various retail roles before joining the Royal Air Force as a Firefighter at the age of 19.  After undertaking basic recruit training at RAF Swinderby, he was based at Manston to learn his trade, followed by postings in Chivenor, Belize, Henlow, Ascension Island and Honnington.

During his time in the RAF, Carl was awarded the Good Show Award for Bravery, The Royal Humane Society Bronze Award for rescuing a pilot from a burning Hawk Aircraft.  He also received a mention in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1996 with a Commander in Chief’s Commendation.  Carl was dismissed from the RAF in 1997 as it was deemed that his sexuality was not “compatible with service life”.  He then moved to Hulme and worked for ASDA before joining the Greater Manchester Fire Service based at Moss Side on White Watch in 1998.

Carl left the Fire Service after 18 months to set up a promotions company with his business partner and they won the contract to launch Metro in Manchester.  In 2010, they then went on to set up a company specialising in cleaning the City’s apartment blocks.

In 2001, Carl was crowned Mr Gay UK after heats were carried out in many towns and cities.

After moving in to the City Centre, Carl became involved in politics because he wanted to make a difference.  He then moved to Burnage and was elected to the City Council as Labour Member for Burnage Ward in May 2011.  Carl is very active in the community and is proud to represent the residents of Burnage.  Since joining the Council, he has been Lead Member for Cycling and Lead Member for Gay Men.   He has also sat on the Neighbourhood Scrutiny Committee and been a member of the Licensing Panel.   

From the age of 16, Carl has taken on many voluntary roles including involvement with Northern Air Hospital Radio and Gaydio, an LGBT Radio Station.  In 2004 and 2006, as part of a small team, Carl took part in two charity treks consisting of cycling, hiking and kayaking in Malawi raising over £100,000 for Action Aid for children suffering with HIV.  In 2013, Carl and his business partner carried out a trek to Everest Base Camp which has an altitude of 18,000ft.  Between them, they raised £25,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society, an organisation which Carl regularly supports with charity collections.  He will be running in the UK Fast We Love MCR 10K as Lord Mayor.

Last August, Carl married Simon after more than 11 years together.  They live happily in Burnage with their two maltipoo dogs, Scrappy and Oleg, and are currently going through the adoption process to further extend their family. 

Carl is passionate about promoting the achievements and contributions that the City's LGBT population bring to Manchester and sees his year of office as an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of many LGBT people by raising public awareness of the issues that all too frequently affect them.  Carl believes that people's different identities and sexual orientations should not just be respected in Manchester but should be celebrated.  He looks forward to being a proud and vocal figure to promote LGBT inclusion throughout his term.

As one of the youngest Lord Mayors, Carl wants to engage and connect with all community groups and organisations across our amazing, beautiful city highlighting how brilliant our communities are.


Simon Austin-Behan

Simon was born, grew up and lives in Manchester.  He is the youngest of four brothers and they grew up in Cheetham, Manchester, where his parents, Patricia and Donald, still live.  He attended Crumpsall Lane Infant and Junior Schools and was a member of 434th Cubs and Scouts at Manchester Methodist Church.  He attended Coney Green High School in Radcliffe.  

After leaving school, he started a Modern Apprenticeship in Information Technology at Swift Fire and Security before moving between two of the world’s largest security companies, Chubb and ADT.  He now works as a Command and Control Officer for Greater Manchester Police and has done for almost ten years.

Simon enjoys travelling the world, especially cruises.  He is an avid cook but also an expert at eating out!  

Simon’s grandmother passed away with dementia a few years ago and since then he has been involved in numerous charity fund raising events for Alzheimer’s including the GM Run and Cycle events.  Raising awareness of Alzheimer’s is important to him.  Simon is and always has been very supportive of all Carl’s charity fund raising.

He is now looking forward to being Lord Mayor’s Consort and supporting his husband in his year of office.


The Deputy Lord Mayor is Councillor Eddy Newman. 

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