SUNDERLAND HAS A NEW MAYOR – Councillor Alan Emerson.
The ward councillor for Ryhope was sworn in at a full meeting of Sunderland City Council, and will serve alongside his wife Janice (who becomes Mayoress).
Also assuming new civic roles are Councillor Doris MacKnight (Castle ward) who has been appointed as Deputy Mayor with her husband Keith as consort.
The new Mayor and Mayoress were joined by their son Steve and daughter Tracy and their families, including grand-daughters Courtney, 9, and Caitlin, 13, for the occasion along with other invited guests in the council chamber
The Mayor retired from BT after beginning work straight from school as an apprentice, working there for 38 years, and has been a ward councillor for six years.
Cllr Emerson said: “During my term of office I want to promote the cultural heritage of our communities, particularly the Coalfields and Ryhope which I represent. We have some great opportunities to really showcase and celebrate our city with the Tall Ships and City of Culture bid approaching.
“Last year serving as Deputy Mayor and preparing for my year ahead was a real pleasure. We did have some emotional moments, meeting people in our community who have overcome real personal challenges in their lives to achieve so much and provide a real inspiration for everyone around them.”
The Mayoral Charities for the next year are St Benedict’s Hospice, ‘Headlights’ mental health charity and Diabetes UK.
Cllr Emerson added: “I am delighted to be able to support these charities during my term of office, St Benedict’s provides such excellent care and support for people and their families at a difficult time in their lives.
“I’ve always been impressed whenever visiting Headlights as a ward councillor or part of the Scrutiny committee because so many of their former clients come back as volunteers to help others.
“And, I chose Diabetes UK because it’s a condition affecting an increasing number of young people and the local offices of the charity will use all the money raised to help people in Sunderland.”
Handing over the ceremonial chains of office were Councillor Barry Curran and his wife Carol.
Councillor Emerson said: “It has been a wonderful experience and tremendous honour
to represent the city as Mayor and Mayoress, and we have both thoroughly enjoyed our term of office. It is as an honour and privilege to to be allowed to serve the people our city as Mayor.”
“We have both embraced the Mayoral office, it is not just about being the first citizen but also becoming an ambassador for the city of Sunderland.
“We have worked alongside the Lord Lieutenant’s Office on the recent Royal visit of HRH The Princess Royal and Freedom ceremonies, and hosted events at some of our finest buildings and outdoor settings to showcase our city to our national and regional partners.
“Along the way we’ve invited children and school into the Mayor’s parlour to tell them more about the history of the role and of the city, which I hope they all enjoyed. As we take our leave, my message to Alan and Janice is to relax and enjoy the next twelve months as it will fly by but you will never forget it.”