Eastbourne Borough Council elected a new mayor at its annual council meeting on Wednesday night (May 11).
Hampden Park councillor Pat Hearn takes the reins from Janet Coles, who has served as mayor for the past two years.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Hearn, who sits on East Sussex Credit Union Board of Directors and the Hampden Park Community Centre Management Committee, was appointed to the position after a unanimous vote by borough councillors.
In her acceptance speech Cllr Hearn thanked her predecessor and said she looked forward to the coming year as mayor.
She said, “Its with great pride and a certain amount of trepidation that I take up this mantle.
“When I first became a councillor, sometime back in the Dark Ages, I would have put my chances of becoming mayor as much the same as Leicester City winning the championship.”
She also spoke about her chosen charities – the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the domestic violence charity Refuge.
She said the Duke of Edinburgh Award had done amazing work to broaden the horizons and interests of young people and she was supporting Refuge as “one in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives”.
Cllr Hearn was put forward for the position by Sammy Choudhury and fellow Hampden Park councillor Colin Swansborough.
Cllr Swansborough said Cllr Pat Hearn was a dedicated ward councillor and compared her to the late John Healy.
He said, “When you walk around the ward with someone like John or Pat you are struck by how everyone known them.
“Everybody knows who they are and everybody expects to spend a little time with them.”
Councillors David Tutt and Tony Freebody also welcomed the new mayor and thanked Janet Coles for her two years of service.
Stepping down from the role Cllr Coles thanked her deputy mayor Jim Murray for his support and Jill Rutherford for her help as mayor’s consort.
Cllr Harun Miah was appointed to serve as deputy mayor at the meeting.
Representing Langney ward, Cllr Miah thanked the council and praised its work to support the Asian community in Eastbourne.
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