Civic chains pass on

GIRL power is back at Morpeth Town Hall as a new civic head is appointed.

Newly-elected Morpeth town councillor Joan Tebbutt has been voted Mayor for the coming year.

And rather than nominate her husband and fellow councillor Andrew Tebbutt as her escort, she has selected new member Alison Byard.

She said: “I have decided that as this is Emily Wilding Davison’s year and a women’s year, and I didn’t necessarily want an escort with a beard, my escort will be Alison Byard.”

Coun Tebbutt was elected to the role by fellow members at Morpeth Town Council’s annual meeting last week.

While a newcomer to the town council, she has previously served on the former Castle Morpeth Borough Council and Northumberland County Council.

Coun David Parker said: “I would like to propose Coun Joan Tebbutt as Mayor for 2013-14. She has the personal qualities, the life experience and knowledge of the town, all of which would make her an excellent Mayor.”

Coun Les Cassie added: “I have known Joan for many years both as a friend and councillor. We sat together on Northumberland County Council and were on the borough council for many years. She has all the experience of council business and commitment to the town and I’m delighted to second the nomination.”

The vote was unanimous.

Coun Tebbutt said: “Thank you very much for voting me into this position. I will do my best to serve Morpeth and hope you will all help me in my work. I would like to think that over the next year we will build a positive relationship. I think that is important for the people of Morpeth.”

The council’s longest serving member Nic Best was elected Deputy Mayor.

Coun Parker will remain as Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, with Les Cassie appointed Vice-Chairman. The membership is Ken Brown, Stuart Lishman, Andrew Tebbutt, Adrian Slassor, Bob Robertson and Nic Best.

Coun Brown was appointed Chairman of the Planning and Transport Committee, with Coun Best as Vice-Chairman and members Alison Byard, Stuart Lishman, David Parker, Dave Pope, Bob Robertson and David Clark.

Coun Andrew Tebbutt will remain Chairman of the Property and Asset Management Committee, with Mark Horton as Vice-Chairman. Other members are Alison Byard, Les Cassie, Dave Pope, Adrian Slassor, Rachel Moore and Ron Forster.

The formal Mayor Making ceremony takes place tonight.