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Bridgnorth prepares for new mayor despite lockdown restrictions

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

Despite the lockdown, council business is continuing and Bridgnorth will have a new mayor by the end of the month.

Mayor Ron Whittle and his wife Carol

This brings to a close a three-year tenure in the post by councillor Ron Whittle, who served two years and then stepped in following the death in service of the then-serving mayor, councillor Jean Onions.

Councillor Whittle paid tribute to the town and the support of his wife Carol.

“It has been a very interesting three years – at times difficult and at times very rewarding," he said.

“My wife Carol and I have really enjoyed meeting so many people including, of course lots of Bridgnorth residents. We have also tried to promote Bridgnorth businesses at every opportunity.”

The mayor and mayoress had huge support in their charitable fundraising and as a result, local charities and sports clubs have benefitted from more than £30,000 in three years.

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Councillor Whittle added: “Bridgnorth is a lovely town that has a great community spirit. You only have to look at all the voluntary groups that thrive and provide wonderful support as evidence of this, including at present in the Covid-19 crisis.

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“It has been an enormous privilege to serve as mayor, assisted so well by my fellow councillors, who are all unpaid volunteers, and our great council staff led so ably by Lee Jakeman, our town clerk.

Commenting on the present situation, he added: “As we start to slowly move towards unlock there are many individuals who have had no work and many businesses that have been closed with no income.As life very slowly returns to a sort of normal we need to remember to support local people and businesses. Help people where you can, spend locally and hope that most jobs and businesses can return.”

Councillor Whittle ran the Kidderminster-based family business Whittles Coaches for many years and was awarded an OBE for his services to the transport industry.

There will be a virtual mayor making on Zoom, when the whole council will meet to elect the new mayor. The current mayor elect is former Royal Marine Medical Corps, Councillor Kirstie Hurst-Knight, who runs a business in the town, with deputy mayor elect Councillor Sarah Barlow, who works at Oldbury Wells School.

Both are expected to take up office at this meeting on May 26.

It is hoped that there will be a full civic service later in the year.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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