Val Elkins takes over from departing Lesley Brown at annual meeting
BARNSTAPLE’S new mayor officially took up the reins at the town’s annual mayor making on Thursday.
Former deputy mayor Cllr Val Elkins takes no the role, vacated by outgoing mayor Cllr Lesley Brown. Cllr Julie Hunt becomes the new deputy mayor.
In her final speech as mayor at the well-attended annual event at the Guildhall, Mrs Brown said she had always felt very welcome and honoured to be invited to more than 110 events, and thanked councillors and staff for their support.
“Thank you to the people of Barnstaple, who accepted this Essex girl as one of their own,” she said.
Before handing over the office of mayor, Mrs Brown handed out cups to outstanding citizens of the town and gave cheques to the Victoria Ward of North Devon District Hospitals and the RMB Chivenor memorial garden.
Incoming mayor Cllr Elkins thanked her fellow councillors for giving her the opportunity to take on the role.
Mrs Elkins is a proud Barumite who worked in nursing for 38 years before her retirement.
The new mayor, who has been on the Town Council for 15 years, paid tribute to Mrs Brown’s contribution to the town, and said she aimed to work with the community to make improvements.
Her chosen charities for the year are Barsntaple Macmillan Cancer Support and North Devon Against Domestic Abuse, better known as the women’s refuge.
“This is a big honour and I’ve now got to fulfil the role,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to visiting the smaller charities in the town to hear about their good work.”
Her deputy, Julie Hunt, said: “I feel very honoured. I’m really looking forward to serving the town.”