More youth involvement promise from new Sidmouth town chairman

PUBLISHED: 17:24 18 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:11 18 June 2010

MORE involvement with the youth of Sidmouth is promised by Councillor Peter Sullivan, newly-elected chairman of Sidmouth Town Council.

MORE involvement with the youth of Sidmouth is promised by Councillor Peter Sullivan, newly-elected chairman of Sidmouth Town Council.

To prove the point, Mr Sullivan, vice-chairman to outgoing chairman Councillor Tom Cox, for the past two years, invited youth worker Mark Gerry and representatives of Sidmouth Youth Council to Monday's annual meeting where he accepted his chain of office.

He said: "I hope to be involved a lot more with the youth and to see how we can work together and listen to them.

"A lot of the time they are not listened to and sometimes they get a bad press, but there are a lot of them out there who are an asset to the town.

"They are the future of the town. If people keep denigrating them, when they get older they will move away."

Alfie Weaver, 12, a Youth Council member, is a neighbour of Mr Sullivan and his wife Janet, who until a few months ago ran Temple Street News until the recession forced its closure.

"I get karaoke through the walls and we should be encouraging that type of thing and encourage youth and let them put their views to us," said Mr Sullivan.

Of his rise to chairman, he said: "I do really feel very proud. It was unexpected. I have been here 10 years and been a councillor for six.

"To be progressed to this level I really feel I have achieved something and I hope to achieve something for the town."

Asked whether he might instigate the title mayor instead of chairman, Mr Sullivan, who came to Sidmouth from Sheffield, said: "I don't think Sidmouth needs to have a mayor. You don't need the name of mayor to do a good job.

"As chairman of the council you have as many responsibilities, if not more, than a mayor, as some councils have both."

Councillor Stuart Hughes was elected vice-chairman.

Councillor Simon Pollentine, who nominated Mr Sullivan, described him as "gritty, dogged, warm and good humoured, who leaves a meeting to froth and bubble, then bring it together and make us think that was what we wanted all along.

"As vice chairman he ensured meetings ran smoothly and resisted the temptation to speak too often or in the wrong place.


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