New Swaffham mayor calls for town to ‘work together’

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The new mayor of Swaffham called for the town and its people to “work together” as she took up the post this week.

Jill Skinner accepted the chains of office during the town council’s annual meeting on Wednesday.

She said she would adopt an “open door” policy during her year in the role and announced the theme of her tenure would be “working together” to achieve the maximum possible for Swaffham.

She said: “It’s a great honour for me to be mayor of Swaffham.

“I’ve lived in Swaffham for more that 40 years and the one thing that always come back to me is the spirit of Swaffham and the people who make our town special.”

Under the council’s rules, there was no contest for the role as the deputy mayor automatically steps up to the top job.

Colin Houghton was confirmed to succeed Mrs Skinner as deputy mayor, having been elected in March.

Meanwhile, the retiring mayor, Paul Darby, thanked staff, councillors and town residents for their help during his year in post.

He said: “I’ve had marvellous support this year.”

He said he had attended 76 events and 243 meetings during his mayoral year.

He listed the centenary celebration for the Swaffham Lions club, the town’s twinning celebrations last September and visits to some of the region’s armed forces bases, including RAF Marham, and RAF Lakenheath among his highlights.

And he also urged members to visit other councils to learn about how other authorities carry out their business.

He added: “I hope Jill has as good a year as I have. It’s been an honour to do it.”

Mrs Skinner said her predecessor would be “a hard act to follow.”

The town’s new county councillor, Ed Colman, also attended his first town council meeting since being elected to County Hall last week.

He said he would be meeting his predecessor, Paul Smyth, over the coming days for a handover meeting.