photos: New Mayor is elected in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge
councillor Ken Smout was elected as Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge's
new Mayor on Wednesday night (May 9th).
former police officer was chosen by town councillors to fill the
busy role previously held by Michael Clarke, pictured right, whose
two year stint has ended.
Smout and his wife Janet said they are looking forward to a busy
year ahead as Mayor and Mayoress.
Martin Cox was also elected Deputy Mayor and Cllr Mike Mansfield
became the new Second Deputy Mayor (pictured top with Town Clerk
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It is a great honour to be chosen
as Mayor - my wife and I looking forward to an active year, particularly
with the Queen's Jubilee in June."
Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor
Ken became a Town Councillor in 2001 and a District Councillor
He has served on numerous council committees and local community
groups, including BIARS, the BAY Centre, Highbridge Community
Hall, The Princess Theatre and Arts Centre and the Mary
Portas Town Team.
He is married to Janet and has a son living in Burnham and
a daughter in Taunton.
Ken worked in Somerset's police force for many years and
served all over the force area including Bristol, mostly
in CID or squads.
He was posted to the CID office in Burnham-On-Sea in 1979
until he was promoted to Det Sgt in 1984, then to Det Ins
in Bristol in 1990 and Det Ch Ins (Head of CID for Somerset
West District) in 1997. In 2000, Ken was posted to Police
HQ as Head of Special Branch.
He retired in 2002 and was asked to set up a Force Vetting
Unit to examine all police employees and recruitment. He
was Force Vetting Officer until 2011.
will try to match the huge commitment and dedication shown by
Michael and Maria over the past two years and are looking forward
to supporting the community."
"I am particularly keen to recognise groups in the town and
intend to award certificates to those who give the most to our
Mayor Michael Clarke said: "The support shown by the people
of Burnham and Highbridge to Maria and I has been unbelievable.
We both feel very privileged to have served the towns as Mayor
and Mayoress - it has been a very happy two years and we thank
all for their backing."
was presented with a Bristol Blue glass decanter and Maria was
given a bouquet of flowers to thank them for their work in attending
dozens of engagements.
Neville Jones thanked the couple for their work, saying: "When
you assume the office of Mayor you must put aside both prejudice
and favouritism. Your duty must be one of strict impartiality
and fairness. That Michael has achieved these, and at the same
time remained highly popular, is quite an achievement in itself.
For the past two years, Michael and Maria have never tired of
carrying out their civic duties and this demonstrated their great
dedication to the role."
Martin Cox was elected Deputy Mayor, Cllr Pauline Pollard was
elected Deputy Mayoress for the year, and Cllr Mike Mansfield
became Second Deputy Mayor.
left to right: Martin Cox, Pauline Pollard, Mayor Ken Smout, Mayoress
Janet Smout, Mike Mansfield with Maria Clarke and Michael Clarke
Clarke handing over his Mayoral chain to Ken Smout during the
town council meeting on Wednesday evening
councillors with the new Mayor at their meeting on Wednesday