North Devon towns make mayoral appointments

New and returning heads take on the ceremonial chains of office

NORTH Devon towns have appointed their mayors for the forthcoming municipal year following the local elections.

A former farmer has taken over the mayoral chains at Bideford Town Council.

Trevor Johns, who is chairman of the Bideford branch of the Liberal Democrats, has represented the Lib Dems on the town council for the past five years and was deputy mayor last year.

He was appointed to the mayoralty on Thursday night and his wife Hilary is his mayoress.

Cllr Johns formerly farmed at Huntshaw before moving into Bideford in semi-retirement and remains as a trustee of Huntshaw Parish Hall. In addition to his council service, he still works as a relief milker and as groundsman at the Victoria Park Bowling Club.

Conservative councillor Simon Inch was elected deputy mayor.

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In Barnstaple, Ian Roome has been appointed to serve his second year as town mayor.

The Lib Dem councillor, who works as a fund-raising manager for the Chemotherapy Appeal at North Devon District Hospital, won a unanimous cross party vote at Thursday’s meeting at Barnstaple Guildhall. His partner Linda Lewis will be mayoress.

Fellow Lib Dem Lesley Brown was elected deputy mayor for the second year. Both will receive their ceremonial chains at the town’s annual mayor making event on Monday night.

The mayoral chains of Torrington were set to be returned to the shoulders of Independent councillor Richard Rumbold last night (Tuesday).

Cllr Rumbold previously held the office for two years in 2005 and 2006. His wife Helen will again be mayoress.

To be appointed as deputy mayor was another former mayor Cllr Margaret Brown.

With their elections, the pair will have changed former roles, Cllr Rumbold having served as deputy to Mrs Brown when she was mayor in 2003 and 2004.

Mr Rumbold has served as a Torrington town councillor for eight-and-a-half years. He has also been a governor of Great Torrington School for the past eight years and serves on the Torrington Town Lands Charity.

He has been a volunteer helper for the Devon Air Ambulance for 11 years and has chosen this as one of his forthcoming mayoral charities.

The new Mayor of Ilfracombe is keen to see tangible improvements to the town in the coming months.

Councillor Rod Donovan was sworn in at Monday’s Town AGM, with Cllr John Swan as deputy mayor, with no other nominations for the two offices.

Addressing a largely unchanged council, Mr Donovan welcomed those new to the council chamber and said he hoped they enjoyed their next four years in office.

“Despite the current recession we are very optimistic in Ilfracombe that we will see things keep moving forward and some positive physical improvements will be made over the next 12 months,” he said.

South Molton Town Council was set to appoint its mayor and deputy mayor at a meeting on Tuesday night. For details of the appointment, visit the North Devon Gazette website,

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