Simon White is taking up the civic reins of office for the second time in three years.
The Madeley councillor was elected as the borough’s Mayor at the Annual Council meeting. Both he and Cllr. Elizabeth Shenton were nominated for Mayor and the outcome was decided by a vote amongst all councillors who were present.
Cllr. White said: “I am so proud to become the Mayor of Newcastle once again. It’s an incredible honour and I will do my utmost to raise the profile of our borough and the great things that go on within our communities. I intend to raise money during my civic year for the Jill Clewes Academy for Theatre Arts because that is very close to my heart and I help them whenever I can. But, also, towards the end of my mayoral year, I will contribute to Cllr. Elizabeth Shenton’s chosen charities as well because she was also nominated for Mayor this year.”
Cllr. Gary White will be consort for the year and High Constable will be Alderman Chris Malkin. Cllr. John Cooper will be Deputy Mayor. Tributes were paid at the meeting to retiring Mayor Cllr. Gill Heesom who raised £18,500 during her year in office for the Royal British Legion and the Lyme Trust. She represented the borough at more than 600 events and activities.
“I have had an absolutely fantastic year and met some amazing people both in our borough and further afield,” Cllr. Heesom said.
Also at the Annual Council meeting, Cllr. Simon Tagg, the Leader of the Council, confirmed that Cllr. Stephen Sweeney would carry on as Deputy Leader for the year ahead. He will also continue to have Cabinet responsibilities for finance and efficiency. Other Cabinet posts also remain unchanged – Mark Holland (leisure, culture and heritage); Trevor Johnson (environment and recycling); Paul Northcott (planning and growth); Jill Waring (community safety and well-being). Several other key committee chairs and vice-chairs were also decided at the meeting:-Planning: Chair Cllr. Andrew Fear and Vice-chair Cllr. Marion Reddish; Licensing and Public Protection, Cllr. Olszewski and Vice-chair Cllr. Hutton.
The position of Mayor is largely ceremonial but as well as raising money for charities, he or she chairs Full Council meetings and is responsible for making sure they are run efficiently. Earliest records show that there has been a Mayor in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1318.