THE Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, was officially installed for a second year at the historic mayor making ceremony on Wednesday night.
The Guildhall was packed with Councillor Ellis’ friends, family and fellow councillors for the traditional event, which saw her presented with her chains of office for a second year.
Councillor Steve Miller was also installed as deputy mayor for the second year, with his wife Heather serving as deputy mayoress and Councillor Ellis’ husband Alan named the mayor’s consort for the year.
The Reverend Jane Skinner was announced as the mayor’s chaplain and Councillor Ellis will continue to raise funds for the Tower Fund at St Michael’s Parish Church as her chosen charity.
Proposing a toast to the mayor, Councillor Cheryl Reynolds described her as an “energetic, powerful and a unifying force for the council”, adding that she was “for the people, not politics”.
Councillor Reynolds listed the many local organisations that Councillor Ellis was involved in, adding that she had particular interests in the welfare of both the young and old in Lyme Regis.
Responding, Councillor Ellis said she was “honoured and privileged to serve as mayor of this wonderful community” for another year.
She said she would endeavour to attend as many events as possible, both in Lyme Regis and across Dorset, and would try to achieve the best for both residents and visitors.
Former town councillor and journalist David Cozens MBE then proposed a toast to the town council. He recalled the local government reorganisation in the 1970s and looked ahead to the impending development of a unitary authority in Dorset, saying it would bring considerable change but the present council was “more than capable of meeting the challenge”.
Responding, Councillor Sean Larcombe said that councillors were in a “privileged position” where they could make a difference to people’s lives and contribute to policies and strategies. He added that councillors should be honest, truthful, speak their mind and work together.
Councillor John Broom proposed a toast to the council officers and staff, saying it was not easy to work for a local authority and meet the demand of several bosses. He added that it was not just a job, but an opportunity to make a contribution to public life.
In his response, town clerk John Wright said: “There’s a big focus in society on things that go wrong when most of the time things go right and most things go right in this organisation.”
He added that his staff were loyal, dedicated and responsive, and were always first to rally around when there was a problem.
Town crier Alan Vian proposed a toast to Lyme Regis, saying it was the people who made the town what it is.
“Our town is a costant source of happiness to all who live here and holiday here… we must be proud of our past and confident of our future,” he said.
Councillor Richard Doney also spoke of the future in his response, saying it was exciting but dangerous and councillors needed to consider how they were going to deal with changes such as the introduction of a unitary authority, a reduction in financial resources, and increased pressure on the town’s resources as more and more visitors come to Lyme Regis.
Councillor Jeff Scowen then proposed a toast to the press and media, saying he was pleased to see the launch of LymeOnline earlier in the year.
Experienced journalist Geoff Baker gave the response, announcing his decision to retire from the industry to concentrate on writing children’s books.