New Mayor of Houghton Regis - Cllr Ken Wattingham

At the Houghton Regis Town Council Annual Meeting on Wednesday evening, Town Mayor, Joana Hillyard asked for nominations for a new mayor from the assembled 13 councillors.
Liberal Democrat, Cllr Ken Wattingham was nominated and unanimously voted in.

After dressing up in the mayoral robes, Cllr Wattingham took on his new role, and in an emotional speech said that as a mark of his respect to his late wife, he would not be appointing a mayor's consort this year.

Cllr Wattingham presented the outgoing mayor with a past mayor's medal and thanked her for her hard work during the year. A vote of thanks to the mayor for her work during the year was proposed by Cllr Tracey McMahon.

Cllr Hillyard told the meeting that she didn't know where the year had gone. It had been a busy and difficult one, she said. Cllr Hillyard was especially emotional as she thanked her daughter for being with her throughout the year as Mayor's consort. 

Joanna told the meeting that her fundraising this year had already raised funds and given away gifts to help one of her chosen charities, Streetlife, and there was a further award for them this evening, as well as awards for Recycled Teenagers and the Youth Club. 

The final fundraising tally was not yet known but was in excess of £5,000.

Councillors then went on to vote in a new deputy mayor. A proposal from the Labour group was for Cllr Don Dixon-Wilkinson, and another proposal from assembled Liberal Democrats, Community Independents, and Independents was for Cllr David Abbott, an Independent councillor who represents Tithe Farm. Cllr Abbott was duly voted in.

The new mayor told the meeting that his chosen charities for the year would be Headway Luton (a local service providing professional support to adults with an Acquired Brain Injury, their families and carers),  Kids in Action (a charity for special needs children with a strong focus on positively transforming young people’s lives), and 1st and 3rd Houghton Regis Scouts

Town Clerk, Clare Evans, with new mayor Cllr Ken Wattingham

© photos, text:  Alan D Winter 2018.