New mayor and deputy named for Harrogate

New mayor Councillor Stuart Martin. Picture: Ripon City Council.
New mayor Councillor Stuart Martin. Picture: Ripon City Council.

A new mayor and deputy mayor have been nominated for Harrogate Borough Council.

Ripon Moorside Ward Councillor Stuart Martin will take over from current Mayor Bernard Bateman for 2019/2020 after being nominated at March's full meeting of council.

In introducing Coun Martin, council leader Richard Cooper said his fellow Conservative party member was "well known" for his "tireless work" in the community.

Coun Cooper outlined the new mayor's charity work, which includes establishing TASC Madagascar, an organisation which helps build primary schools and wells throughout impoverished parts of Madagascar.

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Coun Martin's contribution to last year's Ripon commemorations of Armistice Day, which included 50,000 poppies being knitted and lining the city's centre, was also mentioned.

“Who can forgot the incredible display of knitted poppies for last year’s centenary of Armistice?” Coun Cooper said.

“It happened because Stuart Martin put his weight behind it and made it happen.”

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Coun Martin, who represents Ripon South at county level and Ripon Spa Ward on the city council, said the new role was a "great honour".

“This is a very special position and one I intend to take very serious," he said after thanking his councillor colleagues.

He wasted no time in announcing his deputy, Councillor Zoe Metcalfe (Conservative, Claro) who will take over from Margaret Atkinson.

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“She's very well respected, not only among council colleagues but also the officers around Harrogate Borough Council," Coun Martin said of his deputy, who also represents Knaresborough on the county council and is a public governor of the Harrogate District Healthcare Trust.

“She's a real straight talker and that's an attribute I greatly admire."

The pair are expected to start in their new roles officially in May.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter