Councillor Janet Coles was elected as the new Mayor of Eastbourne at the annual meeting of the council this week and was quick to express her excitement for the year ahead.
Cllr Coles, who has been the council’s representative to the South Downs National Park Authority for the past three years, takes the reins from Cllr Mike Thompson, who has held the position since 2012.
The work Cllr Coles does for Eastbourne as its Disability Champion is also well-known as she is a member of the Disability Information Group and Eastbourne Access Group and the council’s representative on the Let’s Loop Eastbourne group. Because of this, she has chosen ‘Care for the Carers’ as her charity for the year.
In her acceptance speech, Cllr Coles said, “I will do my very best to live up to expectations in promoting and nurturing this lovely place in which we are fortunate enough to live.
“It is an exciting year in which to be mayor. There are many plans and schemes in train that will help to refurbish and to bring more business opportunities to Eastbourne, which will make it an even better place in which to live.
“I hope you will all join with me in this charity year in raising as much as is possible for this worthwhile charity that represents and helps these unsung community heroes.”
Cllr Coles was well endorsed by her fellow councillors. Cllr John Ungar described her as ‘honest, hard-working, caring, tenacious, kind, fair, understanding and community-minded’ in his nomination, while Cllr David Tutt said she is ‘extremely conscientious, caring and knowledgeable in her professional sphere’.
Councillor Jim Murray was elected as Deputy Mayor at the meeting, which took place at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening (May 7).
Stepping down from the role he fulfilled for two years, Cllr Mike Thompson said, “I’ve enjoyed the challenge of being the mayor for the past two years. Congratulations to Janet, she will be a superb mayor and I’m so pleased you’re doing the job.”
Cllr David Elkin and Cllr Tutt both thanked Cllr Thompson for the work he did raising money for the Matthew 25 Mission and Chloe’s Fight for Sight.