Backhouse takes over the ‘chains’ as new Mayor

Mayor Making.Departing Mayor Helen Mallory with new Deputy Pat Marsberg ,MayoressSue Backhouse and Mayor Andrew Backhouse.Picture Richard Ponter 132127c
Mayor Making.Departing Mayor Helen Mallory with new Deputy Pat Marsberg ,MayoressSue Backhouse and Mayor Andrew Backhouse.Picture Richard Ponter 132127c
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Draped in over 150 years of history, Cllr Andrew Backhouse accepts the chains to begin his year-long stint as the Mayor of Scarborough.

Cllr Backhouse formally accepted the largely ceremonial position at the annual full council meeting at the Town Hall this afternoon.

His previous role as Deputy Mayor has been filled by Cllr Pat Marsburg, and his appointment puts an end to the reign of former Mayor Cllr Helen Mallory.

And an emotional Cllr Backhouse, who delivered his first Mayoral address from notes on the back of a postcard, said the moment was the highlight of his 13 years in local government.

“Today is a wow day - It really is a genuine once in a lifetime,” said the Mayor.

“For anybody to become the Mayor of your home town is a wonderful, wonderful achievement.

“I hope that I can this role justice.”

The new Mayor, a father of four, owns and operates ‘The Haven’ caravan park in Burniston along with his wife, and new Mayoress, Sue.

The pair are planning an active civic year, with a schedule that will include a charity borough-wide charity bike ride.

He added: “We plan to take part in a wide range of fundraising activities to support the Mayoress’ Community Fund and we hope to learn more about the excellent work the borough’s many groups and charitable organisations carry out.

“People should expect a few surprises along the way as we strive to pack as much into our schedule as possible.”

However, the it will take some work for the pair to match the workload undertaken by outgoing Mayor Cllr Helen Mallory.

In her year in office, Cllr Mallory said she’s undertaken 400 civic engagements - and she claims to have enjoyed every single one of them.

“I’ve had one, maybe, two days, in which I’ve had nothing to do, and everything you go to is different,” said Cllr Mallory.

“I have about six or seven books full of photographs and programmes, and I know the memories I will carry with me forever.”

In the past, criticism has been aimed at the authority over the role of Mayor, with the cost to the public purse being singled out, as thousands are spent on transport alone.

However, Cllr Mallory defended the role out the Mayor. Besides the hundreds of civic engagements, she said that people still get excited about the Mayor turning up for their big day.

She added: “The wonderful thing is that you meet fantastic people who do great things for their community.

“It’s been a complete and utter honour, and I know it’s going to be in good hands with Andrew and Sue.”