West Norfolk’s new mayor is elected at mayor making ceremony at King’s Lynn Town Hall
West Norfolk's new Mayor told of his pride in the borough's heritage as he was elected to the role tonight.
Geoffrey Wareham saw off a challenge from Margaret Wilkinson by 34 votes to 16, before he donned the traditional red robes and gold chain for the mayor making ceremony at King's Lynn Town Hall.
'I like many of you am extremely proud of our heritage in King's Lynn,' said Mr Wareham, a retired hotelier from Downham Market. 'Over the years, the town has been like a chameleon, shedding its skin and appearing renewed. We're all counting on our golden past to ensure we've got a bright future.
'I'm privileged to be the mayor of this ancient borough. I'm also delighted that my wife Mary has agreed to be mayoress for the civic year.'
West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney, who formally proposed Mr Wareham, said he was 'a smart, confident man, who people do listen to'.
Mr Daubney said there had been a great deal of speculation leading up to tonight's ceremony.
'Clearly, our public recognise the importance of the position and there is great interest in it,' he said.
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Mr Wareham's deputy for mayoral year will be Garry Sandell, who was elected unopposed. Proposer Brian Long described Mr Sandell as 'a gentleman with a good sense of humour.'
Mr Wareham will chair the mayor's charity committee, which has adopted West Norfolk Young Carers as its charity for the coming year.
Outgoing mayor Colin Sampson said he counted a visit by the Queen to King's Lynn and the re-designation of St Margaret's Church as Lynn Minster among the highlights of a busy year.
He paid tribute to his wife Sue, who he said had helped ensure that he arrived for engagements on time, in a clean shirt.
The Town Hall was packed for the ceremony. Charles Joyce, leader of the Labour group on the council said he was disappointed but not surprised that the party's candidate had not been elected.
As well as representing the borough at events throughout the year, the mayor also chairs full council meetings.