Harrogate’s new Mayor Coun Jim Clark was officially elected into the role last week.
Councillors and dignitaries gathered at the Royal Hall for the Mayor making ceremony on Thursday evening (June 12).
Harlow Moor Coun Don Mackenzie (Con) proposed Coun Clark for the role. He said: “We have in Jim Clark the ideal person to take over as Mayor of the Borough.”
Mayor of Harrogate Coun Jim Clark has lived in Harrogate since 1996, and became a borough councillor for the Harlow ward in 2000, and North Yorkshire County Councillor for the Harlow Division in 2001.
Coun Mackenzie said: “Jim is one of only two elected members to have served on the cabinets of both borough and county councils.”
Coun Clark announced the charities he will be supporting in his Mayoral year. He will support both Dementia Forward and Harrogate Theatre’s Education and Outreach programme.
He said: “There are so many excellent charities in the Harrogate district, I will try to give them all the help that I can.
“Dementia is affecting more and more people. I became aware of dementia when former Harrogate councillor, Fred Willis was struck down by it. I think Dementia Forward is a very worthwhile charity.
“It is so important to work to make the Harrogate district dementia friendly.”
Coun Clark has been chairman of the Harrogate Theatre since 2006 and oversaw the theatre’s restoration between 2007 and 2009.
He added: “Throughout my life I have involved in the theatre and I wish to encourage more participation by young people.”
Long serving councillor and former Mayor, Spofforth Coun Shirley Fawcett (Con) will be Coun Clark’s consort for the year.
The duo have a busy summer ahead, with the Tour de France, the Great Yorkshire Show and First World War centenary commemorations.
Coun Clark said: “I think cycling will be a big theme this year, everything seems to be coming together now.
“There is a real buzz about the town, people are really getting into the swing of the Tour now.”
Coun Clark will continue his role as chairman of the scrutiny of health committee on North Yorkshire County Council and will continue to sit on Harrogate council’s planning committee.
He said: “I have very strong opinions on planning and development.”
Aside from his political work, Coun Clark sits on the board of trustees for the Friends of the Valley Gardens, The Pinewoods Conservation Group and is a supporter of the Harlow Hill Community Centre green Hut.
He said: “The open spaces are very important to Harrogate so we have got to be careful and work to protect them.”
Mashamshire Coun Nigel Simms (Con) and his wife Lynn will be deputy Mayor and Mayoress in the year ahead.
The meeting was also former Mayor Mike Newby’s final council meeting after 24 years on the council.
Lib Dem leader, Starbeck Coun Phillip Broadbank paid tribute to the work Mr Newby and his consort Clive Kirkham had done over their Mayoral year.
Mr Newby thanked the councillors for all their support and told Coun Clark: “If you even half as much fun as we had, you are going to have a blast.”