Councillor Garry Tibbs, 34, elected Mayor of Wisbech as Councillor David Hodgson bids farewell to the role

PUBLISHED: 16:35 13 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:39 13 May 2016

Wisbech Mayor making at Wisbech town hall. New Mayor Garry Tibbs. having the chain of office fitted by Judy Hodgson and deputy mace bearer Terry Van-Santen. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech Mayor making at Wisbech town hall. New Mayor Garry Tibbs. having the chain of office fitted by Judy Hodgson and deputy mace bearer Terry Van-Santen. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

Silence falls in Wisbech Town Hall as Councillor David Hodgson marks an emotional end of an era, handing over his mayoral title to Cllr Garry Tibbs.

David Hodgson out going Wisbech Mayor. Picture: Steve Williams.David Hodgson out going Wisbech Mayor. Picture: Steve Williams.

More than 50 councillors from across the district sit patiently, awaiting the arrival of the new Mayor of Wisbech, aged just 34.

As the bell rings at midday distinguished guests, members of the public and Wisbech Town Council representatives raise their glasses to outgoing Mayor Cllr David Hodgson and Mayoress Judy Hodgson.

In his speech, Cllr Hodgson paid tribute to friends and past councillors.

“We did also have some sad days losing Wally Hutchinson, our past beadle; Elliot Johnson, past chairman of Conservative Future and the Town Youth Council; Gerald Salter, our past mayor; and recently Jane Hill, our special friend and past mayoress.

Wisbech Mayor making at Wisbech town hall. New Mayor Garry Tibbs. Picture: Steve Williams.Wisbech Mayor making at Wisbech town hall. New Mayor Garry Tibbs. Picture: Steve Williams.

“We had great success with the charity fundraising events which we raised £6,000 and presented it to 12 charities and communities. We had some great donations from many people and local businesses: Tesco, Asda, Mendi’s, Frankie & Benny’s, Giraffe and The Light and Luxe Cinemas.

“I would also like to thank every town councillor that supported the fundraising.

“My final thanks go to my wife, who also enjoyed the best year of her life and who was the best one ever for raising money for Wisbech, ‘the Capital of the Fens’.”

Soon after, Cllr Samantha Hoy nominated Cllr Tibbs for the role.

She said: “He grew up here, works here and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a great representative.

“I am proud to call him a friend and to nominate him to become Mayor of Wisbech.”

After an entirely unanimous vote, Cllr Tibbs was declared the new mayor for 2016/17.

Having been deputy mayor throughout the last year and a district and town councillor before that, Cllr Tibbs made his way to the front of the hall to give his first speech as Mayor of Wisbech.

Wisbech Mayor making at Wisbech town hall. New Mayor Garry Tibbs. Picture: Steve Williams.Wisbech Mayor making at Wisbech town hall. New Mayor Garry Tibbs. Picture: Steve Williams.

“What I have enjoyed about these roles is the opportunity to see how much our town has to offer, how much passion and talent there is here and how it continues to grow and develop.

“Wisbech has so much potential,” he added.

“I will do anything and everything I can to help it realise that.

“As Mayor of Wisbech I will seek to champion everything that is great about our town. I will be a defender against those who seek to do us down and a proud ambassador to our neighbours.”

Cllr Tibbs is to focus on helping community groups and projects, using his role to “raise up those unseen heroes who do so much, tirelessly, and thanklessly for our community.”

Mayor of Wisbech Cllr Tibbs says he will work for the next year to help local charities and to provide support for local people. In particular, focusing on mental health, but says “my door is open to any voluntary or charitable group or organisation that needs me.

“Years ago, if somebody had told me that one day I would be the Mayor of Wisbech I would not have believed them,” he said.

“I come from a working class family. I don’t have a lot of money. I work in a local warehouse. I would never have believed that something like this could happen to somebody like me.”

Following the handover, Cllr Hodgson said: “I feel very sad.

“I really enjoyed my time as mayor and found it very honourable.

“This has been the best year of my life with my wife, and this is the saddest day.

“We attended 232 events throughout that time and each one was thoroughly enjoyable and we have made many new friends.”

“It’s always nice to get some young councillors,” he said of Cllr Tibbs’ appointment.

“With him as mayor we’ll get a different way of looking at things and I think he’ll be very good in the role.”


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