'Time to rebuild and renew' - Town's new mayor and deputy announced

Anglia in Bloom judges with Deputy mayor of Downham Market, Jenny Groom (centre). Picture: Sarah Hus

Downham Market town councillors voted Jenny Groom as the new mayor. - Credit: Archant

Downham Market town councillors elected for their new mayor and deputy mayor as they look to "rebuilt and renew" coming out of lockdown.

Jenny Groom has been named the new mayor at the town council's annual meeting held via Zoom on Tuesday, May 4, and Jackie Westrop was elected into the role of deputy.

Jackie Westrop (left) from Swan Youth Project. Photo: Downham Market Rotary

Jackie Westrop is the new Downham Market deputy mayor. - Credit: Archant

Ms Groom, who had previously been the deputy for two years and was elected mayor for the first time in 1999, told the meeting that she had a "good grasp" of what has been going on having lived in the town for a long time.

She said: "I will do my best to support the town and initiatives going forward, and make sure we do our best to move forward."

Rachel Hepworth, who proposed her nomination, said it was a pleasure and privilege to do so.

The Downham Market annual town council meeting took place on Tuesday, May 4.

The Downham Market annual town council meeting took place on Tuesday, May 4. - Credit: Downham Market Town Council

She said: "Jenny's one of the most senior members of this council. In fact she was first elected so long ago that the date is lost in the midst of time. It's a phenomenal record of service.

"In her own words it's a 'time to rebuild and time to renew' as we come out of lockdown."

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Former mayor Becky Hayes, who seconded Ms Groom for the position, reflected on her time in the role and commended the council for "navigating" its way through a difficult time.

Downham Market mayor Becky Hayes. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Former Downham Market mayor Becky Hayes. - Credit: Archant

She added: "We are breathing new life into the market and town and I hope this will continue.

"I'm not going to lie it, has been difficult at times. However I have done my best to act with integrity, authenticity and honesty throughout my two years in line with the councillor code of conduct to do my best for the town.

"Although a small number of individuals continue to try to damage the reputation of council and staff."

She added that they had "not won" and that it has increased her resilience.

Elizabeth Hendry and Jackie Westrop were nominated for the role of deputy mayor. Councillors voted in Ms Westrop.

She said she would come to the role with a "wide range of experience" bringing the community into the council.