The first official meeting of the new Northampton Borough Council year this afternoon saw a new Mayor crowned for the town.
The morning ceremony saw Councillor Nazim Choudary take over the historic position from Councillor Tony Ansell, and become the 779th person to hold the role.
Councillor Choudary said: “I am hugely honoured, excited and humbled to become the 779th Mayor of Northampton. I am also incredibly proud to have my mother Maroof Iftikhar as my Mayoress.
“I have chosen The Lowdown as the charity I will support during my Mayoral year.
"The charity provides vital support services to children and young adults in Northamptonshire. My aim is to help increase awareness of these crucial services and to raise much needed funds to ensure the service continue in the future.”
The leaders and deputy leaders of the three political parties for the upcoming year were also confirmed this morning at The Guildhall.
For the vast majority of the members, they are now entering an unexpected fifth year in office following the postponement of the borough council elections this year by Westminster, ahead of the local government reorganisation that will take place in 2021.
The meeting began with the ‘Mayor Making’ which sees Cllr Choudary, a Labour member for the St David’s ward, become the ‘first citizen’ of Northampton. As well as being a ceremonial role, he will also chair all the full council meetings for the upcoming year.
The incoming Deputy Mayor will be Councillor Brian Sargeant, and his Deputy Mayoress will be his fiancée Ray Kelly.
As well as the Mayor Making ceremony, the meeting saw the confirmation of the appointments to the council’s various committees, the leaders and deputies of each of the three main parties, and the confirmation of the cabinet.
Councillor Jonathan Nunn will remain leader of the Conservatives and the council, with Cllr Phil Larratt as his deputy. Labour will be led by Councillor Danielle Stone and her deputy Cllr Jane Birch, while Cllr Sally Beardsworth will head up the three Liberal Democrat councillors alongside Cllr Dennis Meredith.
The borough council’s cabinet also remains unchanged as follows with the following portfolios:
Cllr Jonathan Nunn (leader of the council)
Cllr Phil Larratt (deputy leader)
Cllr Stephen Hibbert (housing and wellbeing)
Cllr Tim Hadland (regeneration and enterprise)
Cllr James Hill (deputy cabinet member for planning)
Cllr Mike Hallam (environment)
Cllr Anna King (community engagement and safety)
Cllr Brandon Eldred (finance)