Sidney Sussex councillor Hazel Chase has been sworn in as the new Mayor of North East Lincolnshire at a ceremony held at Grimsby Town Hall.
She succeeds outgoing Mayor Cllr Ron Shepherd, who passed over the chains of office at the annual Mayor Making ceremony on the evening of Thursday 17th May.
Family, friends, dignitaries and community representatives gathered in Grimsby Town Hall for the ceremony to welcome the new mayor into office.
Cllr Chase has nominated the Dogs Trust as her charity for the year. A mayoral fund will also be set up and shared between smaller, lesser-known local causes to be announced at the end of her year in office.
In her acceptance speech, Cllr Chase thanked friends, family and council colleagues for their support.
Cllr Chase said:
From a farm labourer’s daughter to the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire Council, if only my dad could see me now.
This is a very great honour for me and I accept this role with passion and commitment and intend to serve our communities in North East Lincolnshire and beyond to the best of my ability and I know that I have a great team behind me who will ensure that I do.
Cllr Chase added:
There is one very large space here this evening and that is of my late partner of 21 years, my dear Norman.
Norman encouraged me all through my time in local government and without his love and support I would not be here tonight speaking to you all.
It is very sad that Norman is not here to join me in this year of honour but I am sure he will be watching from afar.
Cllr Chase will be supported by Deputy Mayor and East Marsh ward member, Cllr Terry Walker and his daughter Sarah Herett, who will be Deputy Mayoress.
Cllr Chase closed her speech saying:
I am looking forward to working with Mr Deputy Mayor – I am sure that together we can and will do good for North East Lincolnshire.
East Marsh ward Cllr Stephen Beasant nominated Cllr Chase to be the next mayor, he said:
It was a privilege to nominate Cllr Chase to become our Mayor and I am sure that she will become an excellent first citizen of the borough.
Hazel has all of the qualities needed to fulfil this role and it could not come at a better time for Cllr Chase.
Not only has Hazel been a hardworking Councillor for a number of years, she’s been a stalwart of the local community – turning around the area that she lives through the formation of a Neighbourhood Watch Group.
Hazel truly deserves the title of first citizen, and I am sure that all councillors and the community will rally to support her chosen charity.
Park ward member Cllr Andrew De Freitas had been deputy mayor but announced in March that he would regretfully step down from the role.