DROITWICH now has a new mayor after Coun Christine Bowden was unanimously voted in last night.
The ‘Mayor-making’ ceremony was held at the Droitwich Community Hall in Heritage Way.
Coun Tom Noyes nominated Coun Bowden, saying she was keen to represent the town, was looking forward to it and had all the attributes to fulfil the role.
The nomination, in front of around 30 people, was seconded by Coun Graham Beale.
The new mayor thanked the councillors for the opportunity and said outgoing mayor Coun Shaun Best was a hard act to follow.
She confirmed her husband Eric as her consort and said her nominated charities were Droitwich Stroke Club, Save Our Brine Baths and Wychbold Swan Rescue, where Eric volunteers.
Rev Nigel Baird would be the mayor’s chaplain.
Coun William Moy, who is campaigning hard to bring the Brine Baths back to Droitwich, was voted in as deputy mayor.
Outgoing Coun Shaun Best thanked The Droitwich Standard for helping publicise events and the town and he made an emotive speech on the evening.
“When I was younger I was scared sick of roller-coasters but this last year has been the biggest roller-coaster me and my wife Helen have been on and we have enjoyed every minute of it.
“There is an over-riding sense of optimism in Droitwich at the moment – the town is up for it.
“We have the Brine Baths campaign gathering pace, Droitwich Salt is now available nationwide and there have been a host of sporting achievements.
“Among them are Droitwich Rugby Club making it to Twickenham in the last two successive seasons, the new tennis courts opening, as well as football and a host of other sports.
“The arts are thriving as well and I would like to thank everyone for working so tirelessly for making Droitwich one of the outstanding festival towns in the whole of Worcestershire.”
He thanked the team at the town council, including Mark, Jayne, Sharon and Pam Craney who retired this year.
And he praised all those who had led to the success of the town – Partrick Davis and Churchfields for the introduction of the salt and the food festivals, Rhys Jones and everyone at the Droitwich Arts Network and Anne Lane and everyone at the Norbury Theatre.
“Now we need to build on this success and optimism – let’s not go back to all the apathy that was there before.”
Coun Bob Brookes gave the vote of thanks and outlined some of the highlights Coun Best oversaw, including the Picnic in the Park for John Corbett’s 200th birthday and the salt on the barge project at the recent St Richard’s Festival. There were several music events, including the 300th anniversary of the composition of Handel’s Water Music on a barge in Vines Park, the Civic Service of nine Lessons and Carols at St Andrew’s Park. They were fitting for Coun Best, a very talented organist.
Praise was also given to the way he ensured the life of the late Frank Holliday was remembered and commemorated.
Frank played a massive role in helping establish and grow Droitwich Spa Boys and Girls Football Club.
“The passionate way you have carried out the office this year has been appreciated by us all.
“On behalf of not just the Town Council but the town as a whole, I thank you sincerely for all you have done this year,” added Coun Brookes.