A NEW mayor was elected at the first meeting of the new-look Droitwich Town Council.
Coun Graham Beale made his acceptance speech at the Droitwich Community Hall, Heritage Way, on Monday (May 18), and will serve 12 months in the role.
Coun Roy Murphy was proposed as the deputy mayor and will also hold the post for a year.
Praise was given to outgoing mayor Coun Bob Brookes, with Coun Maureen Lawley thanking him and his wife Veronica for being such good ambassadors for the town.
Coun Brookes said in his speech: “It has been a great honour to wear the chain of office and to represent our town of Droitwich Spa.”
He said he had also taken the opportunity to learn more about the town and to help community groups, clubs and organisations, including scouts, churches, the Norbury Theatre, French and German Twinners, the Droitwich Arts Network (DAN), the Air Cadets, Rotary and more.
He presented a cheque to the Droitwich Spa Boys and Girls Football Club who he has also assisted in the last 12 months.
He spoke about the more serious side of being mayor, calling the last year ‘a very eventful time’, because of proposed developments, such as the Raven Hotel, which would determine what Droitwich would look like for the next century.
“I was very impressed with the response from local residents to the various public meetings I called to help everyone have a say as to how our High Street and the Raven Hotel will be changed and developed.”
He also thanked the organisers of Droitwich’s festivals for working hard to make them such a success.
“Thank you – you all make our town a great place to live,” he added.
He welcomed the new councillors, thanked Coun Tom Noyes, his predecessor, for passing on his knowledge of the role, and wished new mayor Coun Beale well for the year ahead.
Taking the chain, Coun Beale said: “I’m honoured to have this privilege.”
He spoke about the significant developments which had been put forward for the town, which often caused ‘irritation and dislike’ among residents. He pledged to defend the wishes of those living in Droitwich and announced his two chosen charities.
They were SpeakEasy Now, which is based in St Richard’s House and gives a voice to disabled people in Worcestershire, and Blesma – the organisation aimed at improving the welfare and wellbeing of servicemen and women who have lost limbs.
The members, chairmen and ex-officios of the town council’s three committees – planning, community and amenities and resources, were put forward and voted in.
And the Droitwich Town Council representatives on eight external bodies were also chosen – they included the French and German Twinning Associations, the Droitwich Council for the Voluntary Service, the town’s Age Concern, DAN, Coventry Homes, Fairtrade Droitwich, the Area Young People’s Action Group and the Droitwich and Neighbourhood Watch.
The meeting concluded with refreshments.