The new mayor of Skegness and his deputy were appointed last night during a civic ceremony of heartfelt thanks, earnest promises and votes of confidence.
Skegness Mayor Coun Jim Carpenter pledged to represent the town to the ‘best of his ability’ as he took the chains of office from the outgoing mayor, Coun Mark Anderson at the Town Hall.
Seconding Coun Anderson’s nomination, Coun Ken Milner described the town’s new mayor as a ‘genuine, caring person, who always brings a smile to any situation’.
“I’ve known Jim and [his partner] Kath for a long time through twinning and I’m certain that both of you will do a fantastic job of representing Skegness as mayor and mayoress,” he said.
The role of deputy was then appointed to Coun George Saxon following nominations by Coun Danny Brookes and Coun Sue Binch.
“When I look for a mayor os his deputy, I’m looking for one attribute - a passion for promoting Skegness - and George Saxon scores top marks under that heading,” said Coun Brookes.
Seconding Coun Brookes’ nomination, Coun Binch described the new deputy as a ‘larger than life Yorkshireman with whom what you see is what you get’.
“He will always be remembered for the work he has done going across the country promoting Skegness, so I have no hesitation is seconding this nomination,” she added.
The outgoing mayor Coun Anderson was also showered with praise for his year’s service to the town, which he was said to have carried out with ‘style’ despite great personal challenges.
Leading the votes of thanks, Coun Phil Kemp congratulated his colleague for balancing the tribulations of dealing with his severely ill father while still striving to promote the town.
Having served as mayor two times previously during his 23 years in local government, Coun Anderson offered the council ‘not only a seasoned veteran but also a fierce campaigner for our town, wherever he goes,’ said Coun Kemp.
His efforts for charity, which over his three mayoral terms has raised more than £60,000 was also singled out for praise, as was his work bringing investment to the town.
“He not only directs proceedings, he gets his hands stuck in as well,” said Coun Kemp.
“Despite the difficulties with the health of his family, he has managed to not only serve, but do so in style,” he added.
Coun Mark Smith was quick to add his appreciation to the ‘fuzzy haired bus driver’ he first met 25 years ago.
“Mark has evolved as the political map has changed but what has not changed is his passion for Skegness,” he said.
“Thank you for your year as mayor, enjoy your well earned rest and then come back with your usual vigour and enthusiasm.”
Accepting his third Jolly Fisherman statue, Coun Anderson said he had taken the role in the hope of leaving a legacy for his side of the family to stand beside the Grunnill accolades of his wife’s side - whose rich history in the lifeboat service has made them stalwarts of the town.
”I’m so proud that my grandson can come here and see this board with my name - his name - attached, as one of the greats of this town, like Harold Fainlight and Ken Holland, I’m really honoured,” he said.
Coun Anderson said his priority during the mayoral year had been to support entrepreneurship because ‘it’s vital that we create businesses in the town and create jobs for the people in our town’.
Having achieved much of what he set out to do, he has thanked his community for its support and urged his fellow councillors to forget any ‘political baggage and work together collectively for our community’.