Linda Monument is elected the new mayor of Dereham

A legal executive who said she was 'dragged into politics backwards' following the death of her husband was tonight elected mayor of Dereham for the second time.

Linda Monument was the unanimous choice to succeed three-times mayor Michael Fanthorpe, who she praised for stepping into the role at short notice last year when council elections had made planning for the ceremonial post difficult.

She had served his deputy, and singled out the opening of Dereham's refurbished Memorial Hall as a particular highlight of their year together.

Fellow councillor Linda Goreham said the 'flamboyant' Mr Fanthorpe had been a 'very, very good mayor'.

Mrs Monument first joined Dereham town council in 1999, two years after the death of her husband Michael, who himself served as mayor in 1990.

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She said: 'It was an opportunity to participate in the town in my own right where previously I had always been his shadow.

'I only got involved in politics because I had a husband who was involved in it, but now I have been on the council longer than he was.'

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She was previously mayor of Dereham in 2003, and was chairman of Breckland council in 2010.

Mrs Monument, who originally came from north-east London, has four children, one of whom has followed her into politics and now also sits on the town council, and five grandchildren.

She retired from work two years ago, and is a supporter of the operatic society, and has helped backstage with some of their productions, which she said gave her an insight into the workings of the Memorial Hall.

Kate Millbank, who like Mrs Monument is also a Breckland district councillor, was unanimously elected deputy mayor.

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