Town expected to have new Mayor after AGM

Councillor Robert Jones

Bradley Stoke looks likely to have a new Mayor later this week after the current incumbent, Cllr Robert Jones (Conservative), indicated that he plans to step down at the Town Council’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Cllr Jones, attending one of his last official duties at the start of a sponsored walk in aid of the NACC on Sunday afternoon, told The Journal that he thought the chain of office should be “shared around”.

The Roll of Honour on the Council’s website shows that only three Chairs (or Mayors) have served in consecutive years since the administrative body was formed in 1993.

Likely candidates for the top job are the current Deputy Council Chair and Chair of the Finance Committee, Cllr Mark Forsyth, and the current Chair of the Planning Committee, Morgan Baynham.

Cllr Jones was thought by some to be the youngest Mayor in Britain after he confirmed he was a few months younger than Andrew Johnson (28), elected as Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham in May 2008. Research by The journal has however since revealed an even younger mayoral office holder in Ben Murphy (24) of Epping.

Willow Brook Centre - Opening Ceremony

In his overview of the year published in the council’s Annual Report, Cllr Jones says one of the highlights of his year in office was cutting the ribbon to open the new Tesco Extra store at the town’s Willow Brook Centre in October 2008.

On matters more directly connected to the council’s responsibilities, Cllr Jones is known to be proud of keeping the precept (town-level council tax) unchanged from the previous financial year and agreeing “record funding” for youth work in the town.

Cllr Jones’ final duty in his year in office will be to present a cheque to his chosen mayoral charity, the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (NACC) at Wednesday evening’s AGM, which takes place at the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road (7:30pm start).

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