Cllr Barry Graves has been officially elected as the new mayor of Wellingborough. He was appointed on Tuesday 19 May at the annual meeting of the borough council.
Cllr Graves’s nomination was proposed by Cllr Tom Partridge-Underwood and seconded by Cllr Andrew Scarborough. Cllr Partridge-Underwood said that Cllr Graves ticked every box as mayor, as he "lives here, has worked here, and is involved in every aspect of community life. He has given a lifetime of impeccable service, people trust him, and we have every confidence in him."
After being invested with the chain of office, Cllr Graves appointed his wife Pauline as his mayoress and then spoke to a council chamber full of his friends, family, and fellow councillors. Speaking after the meeting he said: "It is a great privilege to be elected as mayor of the borough I’ve grown up in. I want to thank everyone who came tonight and hope I can count on their support throughout the coming year. I hope to meet as many groups and individuals as possible and pledge to be a suitable advocate for the borough that I am so proud to be a part of."
A vote of thanks to immediate past mayor Jim Bass was then proposed by Cllr Robert Gough and seconded by Cllr Andrew Scarborough.
The current deputy mayor, Cllr Graham Lawman, was elected to continue the deputy role for another year. He had appointed his wife, Cllr Lora Lawman, as his deputy mayoress. As he was unable to attend the meeting, the mayor invested the deputy mayoress with her chain of office on his behalf.
Later in the meeting, the leader of the council’s Conservative group, Cllr Paul Bell, was appointed as leader of the council, a position he has held for the past four years. Cllr Martin Griffiths was appointed as deputy leader. The deputy leader position had previously been held by Cllr Graves.
Cllr Andrew Scarborough was reappointed as the leader of the opposition, with Cllr Brian Emerson once again appointed as his deputy.
Councillors then agreed membership of committees. There were a few changes, with Cllr Jon-Paul Carr becoming chairman of the services committee, a move from his previous position of vice chairman, with Cllr Ken Harrington as vice chairman.
Cllr Peter Morrall was appointed chairman of the planning committee, and Cllr Geoff Simmons became chairman of the licensing committee with Cllr Veronica Waters appointed as vice chairman.
Cllr Martin Griffiths was appointed as vice chairman of the resources committee, and Cllr Lora Lawman became vice chairman of the audit committee.
Appointments of lead advisers were also agreed, along with council representatives to outside organisations, before councillors approved an annual calendar of meetings.
The next council meeting of the 2015-16 municipal year will be the planning committee on Wednesday 3 June, followed by resources committee on Wednesday 24 June and services committee on Monday 29 June. Agendas for the meetings will be published on the council’s website at least five days before each meeting, along with information on how members of the public can request to speak at a meeting.