COUNCILLOR John Chesworth has been sworn in as the new Mayor of Tamworth after being unanimously voted to the role by members of Tamworth Borough Council.
The Spital ward councillor has supported outgoing Mayor Cllr Ken Norchi as Deputy Mayor over the last 12 months and is now looking forward to serving as first citizen of the borough.
The Mayoral chain was handed over during a traditional ceremony at the council’s annual meeting, which takes place at Tamworth Town Hall at the start of each new civic year.
Nominating Cllr Chesworth to the role of Mayor, Tamworth Borough Council Leader, Cllr Daniel Cook, said: “Cllr John Chesworth, as we all know, comes from a legacy of family members who have served this town with distinction and I know he will continue to do that during his year as Mayor. We have had a great year and Cllr Norchi has represented this town well.”
The evening marked the end of a significant Mayoral term with Cllr Norchi as councillors broke with years of tradition to vote a member from the opposition group to the role rather than from the controlling group.
In recognition of this decision, no alternative nominations for Mayor were put forward by the opposition group and the motion was seconded by Opposition Leader Cllr Simon Peaple, who said Cllr Chesworth will make ‘an excellent Mayor’.
Cllr Chesworth has represented the Spital ward since being elected in 2014. His Mayoress for the year will be his wife, Mrs Tereasa Chesworth.
After being sworn in as Mayor, Cllr Chesworth said: “I would like to thank members who voted for me. What a great year we had with Ken. It was a pleasure working with him and it’s fair to say we got to know him pretty well and I now count him among my friends. He has done a lot of work for Tamworth people and he did the job really well.”
During his year in office Cllr Norchi attended more than 200 events and functions and raised more than £8,000 for local good causes. Most of the money will go to his chosen charity for the year, Spoken, which provides a support network for the parents and carers of children with special needs in Tamworth.
It is a cause close to his heart as his 11-year-old grandson is autistic, and Cllr Norchi is delighted to have raised both money and awareness for the organisation.
He held a number of fundraising events throughout the year, including discos, a curry night, a skittles night and a DJ extravaganza.
Cllr Norchi said: “I have had a fantastic year. It has been a very interesting, very eventful and fabulous year for us all and we have met some marvellous people.
I think I got to know more about Tamworth and its people and organisations in the last year than I have in the rest of my 65 years put together.
“I am delighted to have raised more than £8,000 for charity, and particularly for Spoken.
“I hope we have achieved something over the past 12 months by bringing people together and trying to put Tamworth right on the map where it belongs.
“I would like to wish Cllr Chesworth all the best for the coming year; we have had excellent support from both John and his wife, Tereasa.”
The outgoing Mayor also thanked his mother Mrs Jean Norchi who supported him throughout the year as Mayoress.
Cllr Peter Thurgood was unanimously voted to the role of Deputy Mayor.
Flight Sergeant Charlotte Cropper of the 1122 (Marmion) Squadron Air Training Corps was inaugurated as the Mayor’s Cadet for the forthcoming year. She will represent the young people of the town by attending certain civic duties with the Mayor.
Cllr Daniel Cook was re-elected to the position of Leader of Tamworth Borough Council and confirmed that there will be no changes to the Cabinet membership for the coming year.