Lowestoft’s mayor Ian Graham expects a challenging year as new town council takes shape
- Credit: Archant
It has finally got its own town council, but what role do Lowestoft residents want the new governing body to have?
Finding out is just one of the items on the to-do list of Ian Graham, the new town mayor and first chairman of Lowestoft Town Council.
The 52-year-old railway signalman said he expected a challenging few years ahead as the council came to grips with its new responsibilities after its formation earlier this year.
Mr Graham said he would have preferred the public to have been consulted more before the council was formed, so now was the time to act.
He said: 'The problem with how the town council came about is that there was not enough consultation with the public about what they actually want us to do.
'Do they want us to formulate a town plan? And then there are things like toilets. Are we providing enough or do they want us to provide more of them?
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'Do people want us to be providing CCTV or should businesses be doing that?'
Mr Graham said there was still a lot of work to do establishing the extent of the council's responsibilities.
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READ MORE: Lowestoft will continue to have a mayor as new council votes to keep traditional roleHe said:'We are not even exactly sure how many CCTV cameras were transferred to us.'
Mr Graham said the mayor's role would be vastly different to previous years as it had gone from being a mostly ceremonial position to effectively 'the chairman of a company with a £1.4m turnover'.
Despite the extra responsibilities, Mr Graham said he would continue to fulfil a town mayor's traditional duties including wearing the chain of office and attending civic events.
He said the council wanted to keep a close relationship with business group Lowestoft Vision. Mr Graham said: 'We want them to succeed because they are trying to breathe new life into the town.'
He said the annual mayor's charity ball would not take place for at least one year while the council got up to speed.
He also said the council also had to employ a new town clerk.
Mr Graham, who has been member of Waveney District Council for about 20 years, took over as mayor in May from Nick Webb.
He recently attended the 1940s Festival Weekend in Lowestoft as one of his first events as mayor.