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It's a Labour one-two for mayor and deputy mayor of Newark with Lisa Geary and Laurence Goff elected to the roles

Newark has a new mayor for the first time in two years.

A mayor is normally elected annually, but the coronavirus and its impact on life and the operation of Newark Town Council put pay to that.

Labour's Lisa Geary was duly elected for the forthcoming year on a unanimous vote. She had previously held the position of deputy mayor.

LIsa Geary shortly after accepting the chain of office and, above centre in the picture, Laurence Goff, who will be her deputy. (46766502)
LIsa Geary shortly after accepting the chain of office and, above centre in the picture, Laurence Goff, who will be her deputy. (46766502)

Mrs Geary was also the first mayor of Newark to be elected over a zoom call at today's mayor-making ceremony.

Mrs Geary replaces Irene Brown who had graciously accepted to extend her time as mayor into a second term through the pandemic.

At today's mayor-making ceremony, Labour's Laurence Goff, a councillor of 15 years standing, was elected deputy mayor on a majority vote of ten to seven, with the Conservatives voting against.

Upon accepting the chain of office, Mrs Geary said it was important to recognise the losses and sacrifices of the past year and she asked everyone to hold dear the 241 people from across the district who have lost their lives to covid-19, those that had suffered personal loss and those who had made sacrifices during the pandemic on behalf of their community.

She expressed her longing for Newark - its independent shops, businesses and market - to bounce back from the crisis.

Mrs Geary showed her green credentials when she encouraged people to walk and cycle, saying that Newark was a walking town and most people were lucky enough to live within walking distance of its centre.

She also said it was a great honour to be elected mayor, having been a Newark resident for the past ten years and always finding the town to a friendly and supportive place.

Among the very first to congratulate Mrs Geary on the zoom call were representatives of Newark's twin town of Emmendingen in Germany.

Tributes were paid to Mrs Brown from her fellow independent Gill Dawn who said: "Her first years was a great success. She enjoyed carrying out her civic duties, which she did with pride.

"She enjoyed meeting varied people in her line of duty."

Mrs Dawn listed a number of local charities who had also benefited from Mrs Brown's time in office.

Mrs Brown said had done what she could to get the job done and praised Town Clerk Alan Mellor and his time for keeping the town council operating in the most trying of times.

"On behalf of the townsfolk of Newark and the town councillors, I would like to thank Alan and the staff for keeping the town going," she said.

Although the Conservatives opposed Mr Goff's nomination, they did not propose a candidate of their own for deputy mayor.

Group leaders were announced to be Jay Henderson (Green Party) as head of the Alliance, David Lloyd for the Conservatives and James Baggaley for Labour.

Mr Henderson was elected chairman of finance and general purposes committee on the same majority vote with Mrs Brown as deputy and Mrs Dawn was elected chairman of planning with Jane Olson as deputy, again by majority.

There was previously no majority on the town, but the independents, Labour and Greens have formed an alliance giving them control.

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