A new Mayor for Erewash and a youngest-ever deputy

Published on: Friday, 17th May 2024
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Erewash Borough Council has got a new Mayor – plus a Deputy Mayor who is just 24 and the youngest ever.

Freshly-installed civic head Cllr Kate Fennelly will be assisted over the coming year by Cllr Harry Atkinson.

Kate was voted in as Mayor after a year serving as Deputy Mayor to long-serving councillor Frank Phillips, whose term of office has come to an end during what is the  golden anniversary of the council and borough.

Harry, who will perform civic duties as Kate’s stand-in, said proudly: “It is a great honour to serve in such a prestigious role. I am over the moon.”

The council’s youthful new look does not end there. Harry devotes his spare time to the Scouts – and will be enlisting civic-minded members of the local troop to help him in his new duties.

Meanwhile Kate’s official Mayoral aide, known as the Mayor’s Consort, is also the youngest ever. She has chosen her son Mason – who is 15.

Kate, who served in the RAF, will continue to act as the council’s Armed Forces Champion. She said: “I pay tribute to the fantastic job my predecessor has done as Mayor and look forward to continuing his great work. Mason is thrilled too. Only two mayoral consorts across the whole of the country have ever been younger.”

The chain of office was handed to her at Long Eaton Town Hall as she and Harry attended the council’s Annual Meeting on Thursday 16th May.

The honour for the young councillor comes four months after he was “ambushed” by family and friends who were smuggled into Ilkeston Town Hall to present him with two top awards from the Scouts movement.

They hid outside the chamber before bursting in as a meeting got under way.

The delegation of around a dozen included members of Long Eaton Scouts and Sawley Explorer Scouts – which Harry has devoted his spare time to as a youth commissioner.

He was presented with the movement’s highest honour – the King’s Scout Award – as family including his parents and grandparents looked on proudly.

It was handed to him by District Commissioner Catherine Halls-Jukes and is the first such badge won locally since the coronation of King Charles.

Councillors applauded as Harry also received a coveted Scout of the World Award for helping to raise £27,000 for the local troop to instal solar panels.

Harry represents Sawley as one of Erewash’s youngest councillors. Cllr Frank Phillips, who as Mayor was presiding over the meeting, said: “We kept the presentation a secret and he had no idea what was about to happen.”

New Mayor Kate is councillor for Hallam Fields. Like her predecessor Cllr Phillips she is proud to work closely with the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

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