New Thetford mayor elected

Conservative councillor Derek Mortimer has been appointed mayor of Thetford for the coming year.

Mr Mortimer, of the Guildhall ward, donned the chains from outgoing mayor Pauline Quadling and took the chair at the town's annual mayor making at the Guildhall on Wednesday.

The appointment is Mr Mortimer's second term in office, the first in 2003/2004, and is one of five Conservatives to sit on the current town council following recent local elections.

He said: 'I'd like to thank my fellow councillors for bestowing this honour on me. To do it once is an honour, to do it twice is beyond compare.'

Mr Mortimer went on to praise Mrs Quadling as being 'magnificent' in the role over the past year and said she was an ambassador for the town.

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He added: 'I am privileged to extend this vote of thanks. She has been a fine ambassador for Thetford and never refused an engagement to my knowledge.

'I think if Councillor Quadling has any defects it's the inability to put down the telephone and to leave the occasion. She never can say 'goodbye'.

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'If there's somebody left in the room she's there.'

The mayor's charity for the year will be Cancer Research UK and he said he had a number of aims for the town while he was in office. These included regeneration of the town centre, monitoring the work of the council in taking over some of the town's play areas, to see an extension of services taken on by the council, and to maintain an 'honourable and conscientious' manner.

Mrs Quadling, Independent for the Abbey ward, was elected as deputy mayor for the coming year and said her time as mayor had been 'fantastic'.

'Being mayor is like the film My Fair Lady,' she said. 'It's just worked out brilliantly. I've enjoyed my year and I'd like to thank the people of Thetford for supporting me in my role.'

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