Out with the old as new Barking and Dagenham mayor chosen
- Credit: Archant
The new mayor of Barking and Dagenham has spoken of his pride at being inaugurated for the borough’s 50th anniversary year.
Cllr Simon Bremner replaced outgoing mayor Cllr Elizabeth Kangethe during a ceremonial council meeting on Friday.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to have been selected to be mayor in the 50th anniversary year,” Cllr Bremner said.
“I’ve lived in the borough all my life and I put myself forward as I thought I could put something back into the community.
“I hope to spend my time going to events, visiting schools and meeting people in the community. Local issues that are most important to me are the growing population, housing and schools – I’m a governor for Goresbrook School.”
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The new mayor added that he is excited for the Queen’s visit next month but also admitted that the thought of meeting the monarch is “a little daunting”.
Cllr Bremner has picked the Dagenham based Sycamore Trust to be his charity of the year. It offers a range of services to support families and individuals affected by autism and learning difficulties.
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Cllr Elizabeth Kangethe admitted that handing over the reins was bittersweet.
“My mayoral year has been absolutely wonderful – the best thing I have ever done in my life,” she explained.
“When I started, I said I wanted to leave a legacy of introducing a young mayor and that’s happened.
“I’m absolutely happy with how my year went and I feel I achieved what I wanted to.”
She added that her highlights included visiting schools and having children visit the mayoral chambers.
And her words of advice for the new mayor?
“I told him to be brave and ready for the challenge,” she said. “It’s not as easy as people think.”
Cllr Kangethe raised £20,000 for her chosen charity, the Teenage Cancer Trust, during her mayoral year.
Cllr Bremner stepped out for his first formal public engagement on Sunday – a parade led by the Dagenham Girl Pipers from Barking Park’s war memorial and through the town centre to St Margaret’s Church, where a service was held.