Councillor Hodgson becomes new Mayor of Wisbech at mayor making ceremony with a very French feel

Mayor Making Wisbech Town hall. Left:Mayoress Judy Hodgson, Mayor David Hodgson. Picture: Steve Will

Mayor Making Wisbech Town hall. Left:Mayoress Judy Hodgson, Mayor David Hodgson. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Councillor David Hodgson, the new Mayor of Wisbech, has described today as “one of the most amazing of my life”.

He has replaced outgoing mayor Councillor Michael Hill in the role. His wife Judy has become Mayoress of Wisbech, with Garry Tibbs becoming Deputy Mayor.

The ceremony featured speeches by both the outgoing and incoming mayors. In attendance were 22 French visitors from Arles, which is twinned with Wisbech.

Cllr Hodgson said: “It has certainly been one of the most amazing days of my life.

“We invited the Mayor if Arles. He couldn’t make it but in his place were 22 representatives from Arles. It was just fantastic.”

The new mayor paid tribute to his predecessor for the way he conducted himself during his tenure.

He said: “I would like to start with my thanks to our past Mayor and Mayoress for their very successful year. A great couple and good friends.

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“They ran and had many wonderful events for our town and I regard today as one of my wonderful events on day one as mayor.

“This is mainly due to the arrival of our friends from Arles and the chairman and treasurer and their better halves of the Wisbech Arles Twinning Club and mainly to Madame Marguerite Arsac for representing the Mayor of Arles and we have now been twinned with Arles for 51 years.

“The other one for me also here today is my son and daughter with their better halves and of course my very special friends including a couple from Shoreham on Sea and it would make me very happy if they moved to Wisbech.

“I would also liked to have had three others here today. Local councillors Roger Green, Bruce Wegg and Mac Cotterell which we have lost in recent years.

“Bruce was the first person to suggest that I become Mayor and would really loved to have him here today. We also lost another councillor but at least he is still alive.

“I fully disagree with the way we lost Jonathan Farmer as a councillor and very much look forward to see him back as a councillor as soon as possible.”

Cllr Hodgson is excited about the future of the town, although he has reservations about the duelling of the A47.

He said: “Wisbech has gone forward over the last few years and mainly due to the 20-20 vision.

“I now regard that it is about up to 50-50 before being completed. We have many new houses, shops, restaurants and a cinema.

“The main thing being worked on at the moment is replacing the derelict building of Constantine House.

“Even now before 20-20 we are expecting a new rail line and the regeneration of the High Street which will take Wisbech even further forward.

“I’m not quite so keen on the duel carriageway of the A47 because I see that as sending our visitors past Wisbech faster and not in to Wisbech for the fantastic tourism.”

Cllr Hodgson saved one last thanks for his “biggest supporter”, the new Mayoress of Wisbech.

He said: “Finally my biggest helper and supporter is my wife. I mentioned last week that being elected as a councillor this was a present for her on our 41st wedding anniversary last Monday.

“The main present for her now is being Mayoress of Wisbech.”