Cllr Jim Bass has been announced as the new Mayor of Wellingborough. Cllr Bass, who has been a borough councillor since 2007, will use his year as mayor to develop relationships with local industry and educational facilities. His wife Edwina will be his mayoress.
Cllr Bass was born in St Helens, Lancashire, and moved to Northamptonshire in 1968. He and Edwina married in 1969 and moved to the village of Sywell in 1973, where they still live today. They have two grown up children and recently became grandparents for the first time.
Cllr Bass had a long career in the engineering industry, including owning and running companies that manufactured and marketed high technology, before retiring 10 years ago to become more involved in community work. He is a keen sportsman, and holds a pilot's licence. He has travelled extensively, working throughout the world.
In 1982 Cllr Bass became a member of Sywell Parish Council, and in 1987 he created, with colleagues, the village newsletter. In 1989 he became vice chairman and then chairman of the county's Education Business Partnership, responsible for improving relationships between industry and education.
He was elected to represent the villages of Ecton, Mears Ashby and Sywell on the borough council at a by-election in November 2007, and was re-elected in 2011. During that time he has served as vice chairman of the audit committee, as well as being a member of the development, planning, licensing, performance and scrutiny, and appointments committees.
Cllr Bass said: "It is a great honour to be appointed as mayor by my peers, and Edwina and I are looking forward to taking on the responsibility that comes with the position. It will give me the opportunity to become involved in all areas of the community. We are hoping to devote a significant amount of time to help develop and enhance the relationship the council has with local industry and we'll also be taking a strong interest in the educational facilities across the borough.
"The borough is changing and growing, and we're excited to become a part of new communities that will be developing throughout this year and beyond. We're also keen to support the voluntary sector as much as possible, and we're hoping to meet as many organisations as we can to help raise awareness of the crucial work they do."
Cllr Bass will be sworn in as mayor at the annual meeting of the council on Thursday 29 May.