New mayor of Downham Market aiming to create diamond jubilee and Olympic buzz in town

The new mayor of Downham Market is looking forward to seeing the town come to life with the Queen's diamond jubilee and Olympic celebrations.

Robin Pegg, who has been a town councillor for almost two years, became the town's 39th mayor following tonight's full council meeting.

'The coming year is going to be very busy with celebrations and the Olympics,' he said.

'We are hopefully starting a programme of events to involve everyone in the town but we have to be mindful of the economic situation and be conscious of costs.

'We will strive to build on our community spirit this year and enable more residents to be involved within this great town.'

Mr Pegg has taken over mayoral duties from Val Starling, who has been a town councillor for seven years.

Mrs Starling said highlights of her year in office included leading the annual carnival parade through Downham Market, the town's water festival and the St Winnold's Day parade.

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She continued: 'Another memorable moment for me was presenting GCSE certificates at the high school.

'I know they are never going to remember me because I was only playing a bit part but for me it was great to be involved in something that for some is the start of their working life.'

She added: 'It's been a privilege being mayor. I shall always remember my year in office, opening shops, giving talks, attending social events and visiting local residential homes at Christmas and just being part of Downham Market life.

'I thoroughly enjoyed the civic side of being mayor and representing the town in the last 12 months. I have met so many wonderful people.

'It really has been a team effort with Ray at my side throughout. We also have some dedicated councillors who work extremely hard in promoting the town and put activities on for residents to enjoy.'

Mrs Starling also praised town clerk Jean Markwell, deputy town clerk Sara Porter and the rest of the council staff for their 'loyalty and professionalism'.

She later added: 'I've been very lucky that the borough mayor has been Colin Sampson and the chairman of the county council is Shelagh Hutson as I know both of them very well and they have helped me.

'I'm fairly certain that this mayor will only be going on term. I hesitate in saying never because I have been proved wrong when I said I would never be mayor when I first became town councillor.'

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