Ottery elects its new mayor
PUBLISHED: 20:00 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:45 14 May 2019
One of Ottery’s longest standing councillors and ‘servant’ of the town has been elected as mayor.
Councillor Roger Giles has taken on the chain of Ottery Town Council mayor this evening (Monday, May 13) at the first meeting since the elections on May 2.
Cllr Elli Pang nominated Cllr Richard Copus for mayor who thanked her for the honour but declined, despite the proposal being seconded by Cllr Lyn Harding.
The vote was carried by seven votes to two.
Cllr Giles succeeds Paul Bartlett as mayor and thanked his predecessor for his work over the last 12 months.
He was nominated by Cllr Pratt who said his colleague has been a 'great servant' of the parish serving as Devon County Council for 20 years, East Devon District Council for 24 years and the town council for 28 years.
In his succession speech, Cllr Giles said: "I would first of all like to thank the people of Ottery for returning me to be their representative on this council; and to you all for your support in making me mayor.
"And I would like to congratulate those councillors - old and new - who were elected on 2 May.
"Being the mayor of the parish of Ottery St Mary is a great honour and a privilege. I accept the office humbly. I hope that I shall manage to carry out my duties on behalf of all the people of our parish, in the way that they would wish.
"I believe that being the first citizen of Ottery is an honour that should be widely available to councillors. It is therefore my intention to serve as Mayor for just one year. In the unlikely event that there is nobody prepared to be Mayor in May 2020, I might be persuaded to change my mind.
"This is a new council, with many new councillors and presumably new ideas. Which is good. I hope those of us who have been here some time will accept those new ideas; and I hope that the new councillors will also recognise the experience that we older councillors possess."
He praised the work of colleagues Paul Bartlett, Paul Carter, Anne Edwards, Josefina Gori and Ian Holmes, who lost their seats in the election.
He asked the clerk if the council could table an item to discuss recognition of service for former councillors.
Cllr Pratt was nominated as deputy mayor by newcomer Cllr Vicky Johns and seconded by Cllr Giles.
Cllr Giles said: "Cllr Pratt in his relatively short time has shown great wisdom, interest and tenacity in a wide range of issues."
The meeting welcomed Cllr Richard Grainger, Stewart Lucas, Dean Stewart, Richard Copus and Vicky Johns to the council.
Cllr Peter Faithfull, Lyn Harding, Elli Pang, Roger Giles, Geoff Pratt and Glyn Dobson retained their seats.