New Kettering mayor promises to do things differently

Keli Watts, new mayor of Kettering
Keli Watts, new mayor of Kettering

A new mayor has predicted her year in the role will prove to be a crazy ride.

Bike-mad Keli Watts, 55, took over as mayor of Kettering borough last week.

And she has said she will do things differently – while promising to respect the office of mayor.

Cllr Watts, who was born in New Mexico and took British citizenship in 2006, has been a councillor since the 2007 election.

She said: “I want to work hard to have an open-door policy, so people who want to find out what the mayor does can do so. I want to get out to all parts of the borough as much as I can.”

She has taken over from Cllr Jim Hakewill, who attended more than 260 events in his 12 months in office. But she added: “I am fairly competitive so I will try to beat that.”

She said she had always fancied taking on the role of mayor, saying: “I think you should be very proud of where you live and willing to contribute, and I have always thought the mayoral position is a fantastic way of doing that.”

In July, Cllr Watts is to tour around the borough boundary by bike, something she said she was looking forward to.

And she also revealed she is a keep-fit fanatic, visiting the gym eight to 10 times a week.

Cllr Watts will be assisted in the role by two mayoresses – daughters Cassandra, 24, and 21-year-old Rhiannon.

Her husband Ian, will be away for the majority of the next year teaching in China.

Her two nominated charities for the year are Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Knibb Youth Club, both of which focus on work with youngsters.