New mayors for Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Wellingborough

Outgoing mayor Richard Lewis with incoming mayor Cllr Kaye Rawlins
Outgoing mayor Richard Lewis with incoming mayor Cllr Kaye Rawlins

The mayor-making season is in full swing with three new faces taking up the robe and chains for the next 12 months.

Cllr Kaye Rawlins will be Rushden mayor for the next year, taking over from Cllr Richard Lewis.

She took on the honour at the annual meeting of Rushden Town Council held at Rushden Hall on Tuesday evening.

Cllr Richard Gell has become the new mayor of Higham Ferrers.

He takes up the post following the loss of 2014-2015 mayor George Whiting, who died on May 8.

Cllr Gell said: “I am honoured to be chosen to be your mayor again 32 years after I first accepted the honour in May 1983.

“Nobody in the history of Higham Ferrers has gone 32 years between their first and second term as mayor.

“I am pleased that my wife Joyce has agreed to be my mayoress, as without her I would never had moved to Higham Ferrers 50 years ago.

“Although we are both ‘knocking on a bit’ we will attend as many functions as we are able to especially those in Higham Ferrers.

“Due to the local elections I have not yet planned any fundraising events.

“I will not be having a nominated charity, but any money raised for ‘The Mayor’s Charity’ will be donated to local groups and organisations connected to Higham Ferrers.

“I am pleased to honour the Sawford side of my wife’s family who has been Methodists for about 150 years, by appointing the Reverend Margaret Eales of the Hope Methodist Church.

“The first year of this council term will be interesting and challenging with seven new councillors finding their feet, replacing some very experienced councillors.

“Alan Dunn completed 31 years, Margaret Tuffnail 24 years, Celia Ingram 14 years, Mick Beesley and Kath Dunn 12 years each with Simon Wiles and sadly George Whiting four years each.

“I was pleased to present some of these with the long service shield at mayor making.

“I am looking forward to my year as mayor and especially to meeting many Higham Ferrers residents at local events and functions.”

Wellingborough’s new mayor is Cllr Barry Graves, taking on the role from Jim Bass.

Cllr Graves has said he wants to support youth sport in the borough during his year in office and his chosen charity for the year is Northamptonshire Carers.

Speaking at his inauguration held at Swanspool House in Wellingborough on Tuesday evening, he said: “There’s no going back now.”

But he went on: “My charity for the year is Northamptonshire Carers.

“This is a charity I have admired for many years for the wonderful work that they do.

“I would also like to promote sport in the borough, particularly for under-18s.

“I will be talking to organisations, such as Northamptonshire Sport, about this and trying to get round to as many events as I can.”

Cllr Graves’ nomination was made by Cllr Tom Patridge-Underwood and seconded by the leader of the opposition group Cllr Andrew Scarborough.

Cllr Partridge-Underwood said a mayor needed to be of good character, a safe pair of hands, represent the council in the community, be calm and unflappable and a friend to all as they are the ‘first citizen of the borough.’

He then said: “I have the very man that ticks every single one of those boxes, I am talking about Cllr Graves.

“He lives here, has worked here and been involved in every aspect of community life.”

He added: “People trust him, and we have every confidence in him.”