WHITCHURCH Town Council has voted in its new leader after popular councillor Tony Neville was elected unopposed as mayor last week.
Councillor Neville, who has served as deputy mayor for the last two years under now departed Mike McDonald, is expected to serve as mayor for two years, with Cllr Bev Dodd as his understudy.
Cllr Neville, who thanked Mr McDonald for his work as mayor, admitted he was “proud and privileged” to be chosen and promises to work hard for the people and wants the Civic Centre at the heart of the community.
“I am lucky in that I have a tremen-dous team to work with – we will have differences of opinion about lots of topics but that’s what democracy is all about,” he said.
“I would like to welcome Nicki Young to the Council as our new town clerk and look forward to working with her. I must also say a big ‘thank you’ to our town centre manager Zoe Dean who has carried out the duties of town clerk over the last months as well as her own work.
“Whitchurch is a wonderful town that is expanding – yet it still maintains that community feel. In my opinion the principal reason is simply that the people of Whitchurch just love the town. I feel proud as I walk down High Street and folk stop to talk and the general feeling is that we have a town to be proud of.
“The other day I tried to count the number of groups there are in town but I ran out of fingers and toes.
“From the wonderful senior citizens of Pearl Yard to the Air Cadets, Army Cadets, Rotary, Round Table, Ladies Circle, Scouts, Girl Guides, Centre North East and many, many more. These are all valuable members of the Whitchurch community.”
However, Cllr Neville’s first meeting was overshadowed by yet another walkout by Cllr Ticker Harris, who verbally attacked Mr McDonald without warning before he handed over the mayoral reigns to his successor.
Cllr Harris accused Mr McDonald of not listening to his fellow councillors while on the council, among other things, but the former mayor refused to be drawn into a public row, leading to Cllr Harris’s walkout.
Town clerk Nicki Young confirmed that Cllr Harris remains on the council and has not offered his resignation.
See full story in the Whitchurch Herald