A NEW mayor has been sworn in for Tamworth with the ambition of raising aspirations and pride in the town.
Cllr Richard Kingstone was sworn in for the 2019/2020 mayoral year on Tuesday, May 21, at a traditional ceremony which takes place in the Town Hall at the start of each new civic year.
The chains were handed over by outgoing Mayor, Cllr Peter Thurgood, after what he described as ‘an incredible journey’.
Cllr Kingstone has supported Cllr Thurgood as deputy over the last 12 months and is now looking forward to serving as the first citizen of the Borough.
It’s not his first turn as mayor as he previously held the honour in 2014/15 but he enjoyed it so much that when the opportunity came to represent the town again, he jumped at the chance.
Cllr Kingstone joined the council in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016. He’s now looking forward to the adventures that come with the role. He is again focusing on promoting Tamworth and its people, raising aspirations and pride in the area.
This will include re-igniting his ‘Be Tamworth’ campaign which saw him handing out more than 300 special badges to a variety of people, groups and businesses across the town who have made a positive impact on their community. This could include anything from cutting a neighbour’s grass to running community groups, or promoting the town.
He will also be organising a number of other initiatives throughout his term in office including a #notaselfie photograph competition, flagpoles for schools project, a primary school enterprise scheme, networking events and open days in the Town Hall.
Cllr Kingstone said: “We have a brilliant town filled with amazing sights, sounds, history, business, and, most important of all, remarkable people. Many just need to believe in themselves and how truly amazing they are. I see it as my role as your mayor to help Tamworth be brilliant and I hope everyone will help me in that aim.”
Cllr Kingstone will be supported by his wife, Lisa, and newly-appointed deputy mayor, Cllr Rosemary Claymore.
During the meeting, an official vote of thanks was passed for Cllr Peter Thurgood and his wife Ann, and the lasting legacies from his year as mayor. During the year, Cllr Thurgood raised more than £11,000 for charity, with the support of Together 4 Tamworth, and this will be shared between Headway and the Midlands Air Ambulance, with Macmillan Cancer Support also benefitting from a £1500 share.
He said: “For me, it was a great honour to be elected as Mayor of Tamworth. I was grateful for the trust placed in me by fellow members and I hope that I have justified their faith in me. I attempted to make the mayor an integral part of the community, to integrate, and I just hope I achieved that goal.
“Along with my wife, Ann, I have attended nearly 160 events meeting people from all walks of life. It has involved long hours on occasion, but would I miss a single minute? Not a chance!” He also thanked all those who have supported him on his journey.
Cadet Jacob Waugh of Glascote Platoon, Warwickshire and West Midlands (South sector) ACF was inaugurated as the Mayor’s Cadet for the forthcoming year. Taking over from Able Cadet Joshua Mandefield of Tamworth Sea Cadets, he will represent the young people of the town by attending some civic duties throughout the year.
The annual meeting also saw the official welcoming of newly-elected councillors and Cllr Daniel Cook being re-elected to the position of Leader of the Council again, marking his 10th year in the role.
The new mayor is opening the doors to the Town Hall this weekend on Saturday, May 25, between 11am and 2pm, and is extending an open invitation to the people of Tamworth to join him for a cup of tea, cake and a tour of the historic building.
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