All change at West Norfolk Council as new leadership team sworn in
- Credit: Ian Burt
The traditional mayoral ceremony was a more muted affair than normal this year, as West Norfolk Council selected their new civic leadership.
While dignitaries, guests, and councillors still filled the grand assembly room of King's Lynn Town Hall to witness councillor Harry Humphrey become the next mayor, Covid measures limited the numbers.
Attendees had to maintain social distancing, and chairs had to be replaced when the outgoing mayor and deputy, Geoffrey Hipperson and Margaret Wilkinson, made way for their replacements.
Stuart Dark, who was selected as the leader of the ruling conservative group last Tuesday, was also formally elected as the leader of the council, replacing Brian Long, who stood down after five years.
Graham Middleton, who nominated Mr Dark, said: “It is with great honour that I formally propose councillor Stuart Dark for the position of chairman of our cabinet and the leader of our prestigious borough council.”
Mr Humphrey, who has been a councillor since 1999, was nominated for the mayoral post by Mr Dark, who said: “I think 'gentleman' is often used out of context these days but that is what Harry is.
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“I feel he is absolutely the right man for this role.”
Thanking the assembled councillors for electing him, Mr Humphries said: “It is an honour to be taking up this ancient role and I hope I can live up to the trust you have shown in me.
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"I can assure you I will do all I can to represent the borough both here and away and to support the council’s endeavours to the best of my ability."
Mr Humphries also nominated Lesley Bambridge to be his deputy, he said: “Lesley has provided sterling services to this council, holding many senior panel roles.
“But more than that, Lesley has worked tirelessly for residents.”
Councillors thanked the outgoing mayor and deputy, with ex-council leader Brian Long saying they had done “sterling work” and Mr Humphries branding them a "credit to West Norfolk and the council".