Harrogate Mayor Making celebrates our district's traditions

The new Mayor of Harrogate Coun. Anne Jones with Coun. Andrew Willoughby (deputy Mayor's consort), Steve Jones (Mayor's consort) and the Deputy Mayor Christine Willoughby (1705221AM3). Picture: Adrian Murray.
The new Mayor of Harrogate Coun. Anne Jones with Coun. Andrew Willoughby (deputy Mayor's consort), Steve Jones (Mayor's consort) and the Deputy Mayor Christine Willoughby (1705221AM3). Picture: Adrian Murray.

Harrogate’s Mayor Making at the Royal Hall on Monday moved and inspired guests in a special ceremony charged with pride for our district and fuelled by rousing speeches.

Coun Anne Jones said she feels deeply honoured to have been elected Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate alongside her consort Steve Jones, Deputy Mayor Coun Christine Willoughby, and consort Coun Andrew Willoughby.

The Mayor’s passion for championing communities of all sizes across the borough shone through in her speech.

The Mayor said: “During my Mayoral year I hope to highlight the value of our historic market towns and rural areas alongside the respective mayors, affectionately known as the ‘chain gang.

“And in my efforts to demonstrate some firsts with regard to action, not mere words, I am already working on a project with the Mayor of Boroughbridge, Coun Peter Philips, to realise the potential for some community awards.

“After an impressive campaign in 2016 Pateley Bridge was a deserving winner of the village category for the Great British High Street, proving that big is not always best.”

“I would like to acknowledge all the hard work during the past year of the outgoing Mayor, Coun Nick Brown and I wish him and his charming wife Linda a well deserved rest, You have most certainly had a fantastic year.”

The Mayor revealed her two chosen mayoral charities as Henshaws Society for Blind People, and ARCH - Resolution in Conflict.

The King James’s School Riverside Jazz band entertained guests, accepting the Mayor’s invitation.

As guests joined in with the celebrations, the importance of upholding civic traditions was widely highlighted.

Coun Mike Chambers said: “We need to uphold traditions like this, and mayors are a great tradition for our district that should be maintained. They are important in raising the profile of our district.

“The Mayor gives great value in raising the profile of our district.”

Former Mayoress Patricia Broadbank, has attended every Mayor Making since 1981.

She said: “The mayoralty brings people together in our district, it helps promote volunteering. Without our volunteers Harrogate would fall apart.”

Former Mayor Mike Newby, said: “It is important to maintain traditions, it is nice to look back at previous mayors, they’re a part of history.

“The idea of a Mayor is something that the community out there loves. From my experience, having a Mayor at an event really adds something to it, The Mayor gives a sort of continuity. It is an important ambassadorial role.”

The Mayor of Ripon, Coun Pauline McHardy, said: “We must preserve these traditions for future generations. People can be quite cynical about the role of a Mayor, but it is invaluable. It would be very sad to lose it.”

Coun Pat Marsh said: “The impact a Mayor can have in the community is mind-blowing. When you see the smiles on children’s faces seeing the Mayor, you can really see how much of an impact the experience has on them.”

The Mayor of Boroughbridge, Coun Peter Philips, said: “It is important that all of the Mayors from across the district come together and work hard for the benefit of the community. We are not in our own little boxes, we all form one district.”