Published: May 9, 2013
In photos: New Mayor elected for Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge

Town councillor Martin Cox was elected Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge's new Mayor on Wednesday night (May 8th).

He was chosen by town councillors during a vote to fill the civic role that has been held by Ken Smout over the past year with his wife Janet as Mayoress.

Cllr Cox and his wife Arlene said they are looking forward to a busy year ahead.

Martin told "It is a great honour to be chosen as Mayor. Arlene and I are looking forward to an active year in which we intend to make encouraging local tourism and boosting the vibrancy of our towns the priority."

.Meet Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor

Worked for Lloyds Bank for 20 years, reaching Assistant Manager level.

Purchased a Bristol hotel in 1977 with 11 bedrooms which he ran for 10 years. In 1987, he purchased Burnham Lodge Nursing Home and ran it for 18 years.

After being involved in a near-fatal sea accident near Stert Island, he joined BARB as a crewmember in 1993, later becoming its Deputy Chairman.

2003-2007: Lifeboat Operations Manager at Burnham RNLI.

July 2004: Received Civic Award for outstanding service to the community.

May 2011: Elected a town councillor.

May 2012: Elected Deputy Mayor.

Married Arlene in November 2012, who is from the Philippines and whom he met in July 2010 while she was studying in the UK.


He praised the outgoing Mayor for his dedication in the role. "Ken has expertly steered the towns through a very busy year that included the Jubilee celebrations, Dylan Cecil tragedy, the Tesco funding negotiations, and the retirement of our Town Clerk."

Cllr Smout added: "The support shown by the people of Burnham and Highbridge has been superb. It has been a very busy and enjoyable year in which I have attended 246 events and 218 meetings."

"It has been a great honour to serve as Mayor and I have been pleased to have presented 19 community awards to groups in our towns. I congratulate Martin on his appointment and wish him and Arlene all the best for the year ahead."

Ken was presented with a Past Mayor's Badge and two framed photographs, while his wife Janet was given a bouquet of flowers to thank her for her work.

During Wednesday's meeting, Cllr Pauline Pollard was elected Deputy Mayor while Cllr Mike Mansfield was chosen as Second Deputy Mayor for the coming year.

The Mayor's Cadet was named as Harry Jackson, 13, from Burnham's 290 Air Cadets Squadron.

The Mayor's Chaplain is Reverend Graham Witts, vicar of Burnham's St Andrew's Church.


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