May 9, 2005
Eric Gill is chosen to be Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge’s new Mayor

Eric Gill has been chosen by fellow town councillors to be the new Mayor of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge.

The 77-year-old, who has been a town councillor for two years, was elected by councillors during a special meeting on Monday evening. His wife, Gillian, has become Mayoress.

Outgoing Mayor Louise Parkin, who had come to the end of her term, was praised by Cllr Gill for the “fantastic job” she has done over the last year.

Cllr Peter Clayton proposed a vote of thanks to Cllr Parkin, saying: “Your commitment has been exceptional. You’ve carried out your duties with great dignity and maturity.

He added: “You’ve been the driving force behind the Youth Town Council and have been a great ambassador for our two towns.”

Cllr Cooper also praised Louise, saying she had been a “great credit” to the council and had presided over meetings in a “very fair manner.” He added: “We wish you all the best for the future.”

Louise thanked her Cadet, Chaplain, Mayoress, Deputy Mayor, two Clerks and close colleague, Neville Jones. “I also thank fellow councillors, the press and the public for all their support. You’ve all been very kind and I have incredibly appreciated it,” she said.

Louise was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a set of four historic prints showing various scenes of Burnham on behalf of the council.

New Deputy Mayor is chosen amid heated Highbridge debate

Burnham and Highbridge Deputy Mayor Cllr DaveyStrong feelings regarding the fact that a Mayor has not come from Highbridge for over ten years were aired by Cllr Cooper. “I do feel insulted that no Mayor has come from Highbridge for over ten years,” he said.

He claimed this was due to three reasons: “It’s either politics; the fact that councillors don’t think anyone in Highbridge is worthy of it; or that councillors feel they want to slight Highbridge.”

He proposed Highbridge councillor Cllr Jean Whitehouse for the post of Deputy Mayor, but a vote of councillors saw Cllr Davey (pictured right) win the post.

The new Mayor welcomed his new Deputy to the post and said he would like to see politics left out of the council’s business in the year ahead, adding that his motto would be: “Advance Burnham and Highbridge.”

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