Councillors will vote for new mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

West Norfolk will have a new borough mayor after a ceremony in King's Lynn's Town Hall tomorrow night.

Colin Sampson will formally hand over the chain of office he has worn for the last year to either Margaret Wilkinson or Geoffrey Wareham following a vote at tomorrow's full council meeting.

Mr Sampson, who has been a borough councillor since 2007, has had one of the most memorable mayoral years in recent years.

He gave a loyal address to the Queen when she began her 60th year as monarch by visiting King's Lynn Town Hall on February 6 as well as co-signing a historic charter which gave the title of King's Lynn Minster to St Margaret's Church.

He said: 'I have been very fortunate with some of things that has happened in West Norfolk over the last year.

'The Queen starting her diamond jubilee here was a very special day and truly in a league of its own – after all it's not everyday you get onto international television.

'She could have spent the day absolutely anywhere but to choose to start her year-long worldwide programme of events here was incredible.

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'The other huge event was when St Margaret's Church became the King's Lynn Minster and my signature is now on the charter noting the change. It was a wonderful occasion.'

Mr Sampson, who was also mayor of Downham Market in 2005, spent his year in office raising money for the Norfolk Hospice, which provides palliative care to people with cancer, neurological and other life-limiting conditions,

He added: 'Another outstanding highlight for me has been visiting voluntary organisations all over the borough that are there everyday helping those who are less fortunate than others.

'The people who run these organisations have my total admiration because 99pc of the time they are doing it with virtually no money or just enough to keep going from one year to the next.

'Every time I visited one of these organisations, the chain gave them a huge boost because they know they are being recognised and it really boosted my view of life generally in West Norfolk.'

Mr Sampson, who represents Wissey Ward, was deputy borough mayor in 2009-2010, which combined with his time as mayor of Downham, provided the perfect training for his busy year in office.

He said: 'Both roles got me used to the idea of civic life and while taking on this role was daunting, I was looking forward to it because I knew I'd had some training in recent years.'

The outgoing mayor also praised the civic office for going 'above and beyond' the call of duty and to his wife Susan.

He continued: 'She has loved being mayoress. I'm very fortunate with her because she is very good at meeting people.

'We are a team and when she has been there, she has done her bit so well that it has made my bit easier.'

Asked what his advice would be to the next mayor, he added: 'Accept everything that is offered and don't turn something down because you think it might not be interesting because you never know. We had a few surprises and we've had a lot of fun.'

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