A councillor described as a “true Northamptonian” will be taking office later this week as the 776th Mayor of Northampton,
At a ceremony on Thursday at the Guildhall, the role of First Citizen of Northampton will pass from Councillor Penelope Flavell to Councillor Christopher Malpas.
Councillor Malpas said: “It is a great privilege and an absolute honour to become the 776th Mayor of Northampton. My wife Lynne and I are looking forward to serving the people of Northampton and celebrating its rich diversity whilst promoting the town and meeting with as many members of the local community as possible.
“I have chosen Guide Dogs Northampton as the charity I will support during my time as Mayor. In Northampton there are 19,280 people living with sight loss. Guide Dogs Northampton provide a range of services to enable those with sight loss to have the freedom to live life the way they choose.
“When someone loses their sight, the charity Guide Dogs Northampton is there to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well. Guide Dogs Northampton aims to change the way sight loss affects people’s lives. They want everyone who experiences sight loss to feel confident, independent and supported in the world.”
A spokesman for Northampton Borough Council, said Councillor Malpas was born and raised in the town, attended Stimpson Avenue School from the age of five and completed his education at what was then the brand new Lings Upper School.
“A true Northamptonian, Christopher has always been actively involved in the local community throughout his life,” he said.
“At the age of eight Christopher became a cub scout and scouting played an active part of his life for over 20 years. In 1979 he was awarded the Queen’s Scout Award.
“Christopher was once an avid Cobblers and Northants Cricket supporter, but now freely admits to being more of an armchair supporter.
“Earlier in life, Christopher enjoyed many outdoor pursuits like angling, however nowadays Christopher prefers to spend his relaxation time with his wife Lynne, free running his Guide Dog Verity either in the park or on a Lincolnshire beach or just listening to audiobooks because he can no longer see to read the printed version,” the spokesman said.
“From a young age Christopher started to recognise and respect diversity through the many different nationalities in his school and his activities within the scouting movement.
“Christopher has helped and been involved with several charities and organisations most notably that of being a trustee and treasurer of Service Six. More recently Christopher took the role as a trustee of Northamptonshire Association for the Blind and is also a committed member and volunteer for Northampton Guide Dogs,” he added.
“Last year Christopher’s work was recognised when he was nominated and shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards as a positive role model living with disabilities. For Christopher, being just one of the eight shortlisted out of more than 22,000 nominations is one of the proudest moments of his life and he displays his certificate with pride.
“As well as being a borough councillor, Christopher served eight years on Northamptonshire County Council and for many years was a governor at Bellinge Primary School,” the spokesman said.
In 2003, Christopher stood in the Northampton Borough Council elections for Billing Ward and has been re-elected on four occasions.
“As a borough councillor, Christopher has been a member of the cabinet with responsibility for housing. He’s been chairman of licensing as well as the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Race Equality Forum and most recently the Diverse Communities Forum,” the spokesman added.
The incoming Deputy Mayor will be Councillor Gareth Eales and his Deputy Mayoress Councillor Terrie Eales.
To contribute to the Mayor’s Charity, or to find out more information about the May, contact the Mayor’s office on 01604 837804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org