Stamford Town Council elects former teacher Breda Griffin as mayor
Breda Griffin has been elected as mayor of Stamford.
Stamford Town Council made the move at its annual meeting today.
Coun Griffin was previously deputy mayor and became its chairman and acting mayor last August following the resignation of her predecessor Max Sawyer.
The mayor making ceremony took place at the town hall on St Mary's Hill.
It featured the town mace being carried in, along with the mayoral chains.
In a ceremony conducted by town clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg, Coun Mike Exton proposed Coun Griffin as mayor and his move was seconded by Coun John Dawson.
After a unanimous vote, the mayoral chain of office was then placed around Coun Griffin, with all those present watched on by portraits of former Stamford mayors on the walls.
The investiture with the chain was helped by Coun Harrish Bisnauthsing, the longest serving member of the town council.
The now Mayor Griffin then announced Father Gavin Cooper, the rector of Stamford St Mary and St Martin, as chaplain.
Her mayoral charities will be the CLIC Sargent cancer charity, Friends of Stamford Hospital, and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Stamford's deputy mayor is Coun Maxine Couch.
Coun Sue Sandall proposed Coun Couch as deputy mayor citing her commitment, passion and friendliness.
Coun Andrew Croft seconded the move, citing her hard work.
Members again voted unanimously to elect Coun Couch as deputy mayor, but she was absent due to recovering from an operation.
The annual meeting also saw members approve various procedures relating to the town council without debate.
Decisions on reviewing committee structures, their appointments and the appointments of various working parties were deferred to a council meeting on Tuesday May 21.
Closing the 25-minute meeting, Mayor Griffin said members had a "lot of hard work ahead."
Mayor Griffin was born in Peterborough and lived in Ufford, Cambridgeshire for 30 years and Stamford for the past 29 years.
A former teacher, she taught economics, art and religious education at the former Exeter School off Empingham Road.
Mayor Griffin took retirement eight years ago and then joined Stamford Town Council and South Kesteven District Council, elected to both as a Conservative.
She said: "It all happened that year. I wanted to expand my knowledge. I thought it would be a good thing to represent the town."
Mayor Griffin represents Stamford All Saints on the district council and Stamford All Saints South on the town council.
Her district council work has focussed on the South Kesteven Community Fund helping Stamford In Bloom, Stamford Air Cadets and the 2017 Squadron.
On the town council, she sits on committees including the planning and events committees.
She said she supports the many activities that take place at the arts centre, plus local productions.
"This year, I am going to raise money for my charities."
Mayor Griffin says Stamford faces many issues, but they are typically the responsibility of Lincolnshire County Council or South Kesteven District Council.
"The trouble is with the lack of money there's not an awful lot we can do but we keep pushing.
"Everbody has to work together and we try and keep our town as good a we can."
Mayor Griffin then cited housing.
"It's always the case we want to get affordable and social housing. We can do it."
Outside council work, Mayor Griffin says she is interested in the arts and dancing.
She teaches Latin American and ball room dancing to adult couples.
Coun Mike Exton, who is also a Stamford All Saints district councillor for the Conservatives, will again be Mayor Griffin's consort.
He said: "I have known Breda for about 30 years. We were neighbours and I'm going to support her in the same position this year."
The town, district and county councillor of 21 years said of his friend: "She's very enthusiastic, she will have a go at anything. When you are a councillor, you have to be enthusiastic."
Coun Exton continued: "She's done the job for the past ten months. She's coped very well. It gives you a great insight into what the job entails."
"Breda was my consort when I was mayor of Stamford Town Council in 2003-04 and helped me as consort when I was chairman of the district council in 2008-09. She has a great insight into how the system works."