|Daughter Katie and grandchildren Sarah and Lily join me in the Mayor's parlour after the ceremony|
I am going to use this blog to record all my comings and goings as mayor.
At a reception held afterwards in The Atkinson I had the chance to thank my predecessor Stephen Kermode (who passed on a very good joke), divest myself of the Ruritanian outfit and to outline some of my plans for the year.
For 36 years I have worked alongside people with mental health issues on their journey to living a full and independent life. I hope to use the opportunity that the mayoralty gives me to continue to challenge the stigma and ignorance that so often blights their lives inhibiting them from playing their full part in our communities. I intend to work alongside the 800 group of charities-so called because together they have given 800 years of service to our communities-to include those who are often excluded from the life of the borough.
|later, without the Ruratanian robes....|
Looking at the diary for the coming year it is dominated by the remembrance of war. We mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at events throughout the borough. I shall be at Southport where the war memorial has a special chapel dedicated to those young men who died there. I shall lay a paving stone dedicated to a Bootle man who received the Victoria Cross for his bravery on the centenary of his death. In June shall the Royal Hotel to commemorate the battle of Waterloo in the district named after the battle. It is a blessing that Europe has found a peaceful way of resolving its disputes.
During the year I hope to have the opportunity, on behalf of the borough, to thank individuals, voluntary groups, faith communities and businesses who make our borough such a diverse and successful place.
I have no doubt that along the way I shall encounter many challenges, not least of all from those who will regard me as an imposter as every self respecting Sandgrounder knows that there is only one Mayor of Southport and that is Maureen Fearn!