HEDON’S NEW MAYOR was appointed at the Hedon Town Council meeting last night as Councillor John Dennis was elected Chairman making him the 667th Mayor of Hedon, his wife Jennifer Dennis is the new Mayoress.
Gone last night was the special ‘Mayor Making’ ceremony that normally precedes the appointment of the new mayor, gone also was the pomp and pageantry that traditionally marks this occasion. Instead, a plain-clothed Sergeant of the Mace Dave Young invested the new Mayor and Mayoress with their chains of office in the presence of other councillors and in front of the general public assembled at the Town Hall council chamber.
For all its break with tradition, it was a dignified act that was greeted with enthusiasm and loud applause by other councillors present, albeit that enthusiasm was not shared by most of the 12 members of the public present.
The new Mayor in a short speech set out his intention to regain the dignity and order of the council and to reassure residents that the council was back on track.
Hedon Mayor, Councillor Dennis said in his speech: “So, here I am, very, very proud to be the 667th Mayor of Hedon, it was not part of the plan, but I relish the challenge.
“Now that the legalities are complied with, the Hedon Town Council has to get back to business. I hope we can put the problems of recent months behind us and regain the order and dignity which this ancient body has enjoyed over its 850 years existence.
“We need to reassure our residents that this is not, as some have claimed, a council in crisis, anything but.”
The Mayor confirmed that an election has been called for by residents, to fill the two vacancies on Hedon Town Council left by the resignations of Ann Suggit and Jim Lindop. If contested; if there are at least three candidates, then the election will take place in the New Year.
Amongst the members of the public watching the proceedings was Ann Suggit, Jim and Sue Lindop. At the end of the meeting, it was notable that the new Mayor, after receiving the congratulations of his colleagues on the council, shared a handshake with the previous Mayor Jim Lindop.
Whilst the issues that have divided some members of the council with those that resigned are far from resolved, the new Mayor has very clearly set out to restore harmony on the council and to restore the confidence of local people in that body.
The full text of the new Mayor’s speech following his appointment last night:
Thank you colleagues for your support over the past 2 difficult weeks, and for your vote this evening.
Little did I think only a fortnight ago when relaxing on my holiday sunbed that events would develop so drastically and rapidly, with the unexpected resignation of our previous Mayor happening on the very evening of my return.
So, here I am, very, very proud to be the 667th Mayor of Hedon, it was not part of the plan, but I relish the challenge.
Now that the legalities are complied with, the Hedon Town Council has to get back to business. I hope we can put the problems of recent months behind us and regain the order and dignity which this ancient body has enjoyed over its 850 years existence.
We need to reassure our residents that this is not, as some have claimed, a council in crisis, anything but.
People need only to come down to the town centre tomorrow evening to the Christmas Lights Switch-on event to see for themselves just how much expertise and effort of both councilllors and town hall staff, has gone into presenting the town’s event of the year. Maybe as many as 3000 residents and visitors will be out enjoying themselves, and the children of the town will all have smiling faces.
Is it a council in crisis that can procure £100,000 of funds for the older children to enjoy a brand new, state of the art skate park, of which building has commenced this week. And no, for the cynics, it isn’t Hedon residents’ money, it comes as commuted funds paid by the builders of the Holderness Grange retirement village, and other developers.
The council has involved the local kids in the decision making, for their skate park and they are getting just what they wanted. The teenagers of our town are looking forward to using and enjoying these facilities in the new year and for many years to come. A council in crisis, I think not.
I know other members feel the same about this, and the job is now to move forward with all of the other projects in the months ahead.
We can look forward to 2 new members joining the Council in the new year, and I really hope they will come to this table with enthusiasm, with new ideas, and with a desire to make a difference. My commitment, as the interim Mayor for the next six months is to continue working with all councillors and staff to put the council back on track, to undertake as many civic functions as my already busy diary will allow, and to restore the confidence of local residents in the Hedon Town Council.
I’m going to need your help in achieving these aims, we must all work together in harmony, and I know you will play your part.