A brass band was on hand to blow in Ellesmere Port’s 'new kid on the block' mayor along with a school choir.
Musical director Major Eddie Pickering, former bandmaster of the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment, made sure Ellesmere Port Concert Brass had New Recruit on their music stands as Ledsham and Manor councillor Peter Rooney succeeded Lynn Clare (Ellesmere Port Town) at the Civic Hall ceremony.
Also providing entertainment at the celebration and investiture was the choir from William Stockton primary school where Cllr Rooney is chairman of the governors.
Major Pickering included a selection from the Beatles and the stirring march ‘Barnard Castle’ for good measure.
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After Cllr Rooney had read his declaration of acceptance of office he thanked outgoing mayor Cllr Clare and mayoress Mrs Jenny Bateman ‘for a fantastic job’ during their year of office.
New kid on the block
Pointing out he had only been a councillor for 12 months and other past mayors in the hall had years’ of service, he referred to himself as ‘the new kid on the block’ and said he hoped to bring some new ideas to the office.
Cllr Rooney said he had lived in the Port all his life and after attending the Catholic High School had worked at Cammell Laird’s before spending time in the Army.
He had joined the NHS on a part time basis 26 years ago and had been active in trade unions for many years before becoming a councillor last May. This had included holding positions such as a shop steward and branch chairman amongst others.
He announced his charity for the year is to be Beat, the UK’s leading organisation supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape.
Cllr Rooney is married to Sharon, who will be mayoress. The couple have two children, 16 year old twins currently doing GCSEs at Whitby High School.
Cllr Clare described her year as ‘wonderful’.
Apart from school visits she said she had attended events including the Special Olympics in Ellesmere Port and one of the ‘fantastic’ shows at The Whitby High School. During her school visits children had asked if she had a crown and if she lived in a palace.
Cllr Clare revealed that during her year of office she had raised £4,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support which she had nominated as her charity.
A series of ‘seven or eight’ coffee mornings had brought in £2,600 and other events including a Christmas fair and tombola had added a further £1,400.
She said Mrs Bateman had been ‘a real help’ and also thanked the deputy mayor Myles Hogg before adding: “Thank you very much to everybody.’
Cllr Rooney presented Cllr Clare with her past mayor’s badge.
Whitby ward’s Karen Shore is to be deputy mayor.
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