COUNCILLOR Maureen Gant was sworn in as the new Mayor of Tamworth at the Annual Council meeting held at the Town Hall on Tuesday night.
Cllr Gant was appointed to the role by unanimous vote, after the opposition did not propose an alternative candidate.
Opposition Group Leader Cllr Simon Peaple said: “We will not propose an alternative candidate for Mayor, due to the fact that we have enormous respect for Cllr Gant and for the way she conducts herself.”
Following the vote, Cllr Gant said: “Thank you for having bestowed on me the honour and privilege of serving as Mayor of Tamworth”
She thanked outgoing Mayor, Cllr Richard Kingstone, for the ‘fantastic job’ he did during his year in office, and thanked Mayoress Lisa Kingstone for her ‘unstinting support’.
She added: “You are a hard act to follow”.
Cllr Gant also announced that her charities during her year in office will be Tamworth Talking Newspapers and Tamworth Samaritans.
Outgoing Mayor Cllr Richard Kingstone said: “The past year has just whizzed by and it has been such fantastic fun. It has been a huge privilege to be your Mayor and to meet so many wonderful Tamworth people. This is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives. At the same time, my wife Lisa and I have raised around £2,500 for our two chosen charities – St Giles Hospice and The Pathway Project.
“I’ve also presented more than 300 Be Tamworth badges, spoken in too many school assemblies to mention, hosted almost 100 different Tamworth-based voluntary groups to special ‘thank you’ receptions in the Town Hall, handed out flagpoles and flags to several primary and secondary schools and much, much more.”
He added: “We have been to some amazing places and met some amazing people. We knew that Tamworth was good, but we didn’t know it was that good. It is a brilliant place filled with amazing people.
“We hear claims that the town centre is dying, but in my year as Mayor, I have been asked to open nine small businesses in Tamworth. These are people who are prepared to invest in Tamworth and drive the town forward. Tamworth is not dying, but is evolving into something new and we need to encourage that.
“I have really been very lucky and would like to thank the people of Tamworth for their special support. None of this through would have been possible without the support of Derek, Roger and Lin who make up the civic team. They have looked after me and enabled the duties of the Mayor to run without a hitch.
“I would also like to thank Lisa, my wife. Without her acting as my conscience I would have made many mistakes. Tamworth is an amazing place full of the most delightful, funny and incredible people. I am proud to have been your Mayor.”
Sea Cadet Joshua Powell was inaugurated as the Mayor’s Cadet for the forthcoming year. He will attend certain civic duties with the Mayor, representing young people in the town. Last year’s Cadet was Air Cdt Matthew John Feenan.
Cllr Allan Lunn was elected to serve as the borough’s Deputy Mayor.