A drastically new look Sleaford Town Council met for its annual meeting on Wednesday night to elect a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the coming year.
After a third of the members stepped down at the May 2 elections, it saw a host of new faces in the chamber.
These were: Tarek Hayat, Karen Pole, James Thomas, Robert Oates, David Edwards-Shea and Cara Sandy.
At the beginning of the meeting, Independent member Bozena Allan appealed to all members to restore the council to the traditional process of electing the deputy mayor from the previous year to the position of mayor after a departure in the last couple of terms, hoping that it would be made an automatic process.
She said: “Deputy mayors gain vital training in that role, but when it came to the following year, they did not become mayor.
“You have gained that experience in practice, rather than every year having someone different putting themnself forward who had never served as a mayor or deputy before.
“Reinstate order or we follow the chaos every year.”
The clerk was asked to look into it for the future.
In the end two past deputy mayors were put in the frame for the role of Mayor - Coun Anthony Brand and Coun Adrian Snookes. Both received seven votes in favour, with two abstentions, leading to outgoing Mayor Grenville Jackson, who has retired from the council having not sought re-election, with the casting vote. He opted for Coun Snookes.
It was then a two horse race for the deputy mayor role between Coun Anthony Brand and Coun Bozena Allan. Coun Brand was duly elected 12 votes to three with one abstention.
Coun Snookes joined the council in February 2015 and Coun Brand in December 2015.
After the meeting, Coun Snookes told The Standard that he would give “one hundred per cent” to the role.
“I love Sleaford and hopefully we will put on more events to bring even more people into the town. We have the 1940s event planned for June 22 and my wife, Alison, and I look forwrad to representing Sleaford.”
Coun Snookes plans to organise some fundraising events for local animal charities and the Civic Trust.
He may return as ‘caller’ in a revival of the previously popular bingo nights. He said: “People enjoyed those and we raised quite a bit of money. They became a popular event for the local community and people keep asking me about bringin them back.”
Now retired, Coun Snookes worked for 37 years in children’s social services for the county. He also enjoys entertaining, running live music and entertainment events including discos and karaoke, as well as being a self-taught magician and member of a local group.
He plans to continue supporting the local police with their drop-in sessions at the Town Hall. He said: “At the last one we had a lot of local businesses come along talking about their shops being burgled and they were able to get both sides of things. People are quick to blame the police but they understood that cut backs coming from the top present problems in the town.
“People must always report crime and then those in charge will realise we need extra police and they are doing a fantastic job despite the cuts.”
Coun Snookes hoped to see a resurgence in the town’s market and wished to harness other new councillors’ enthusiasm to that end.
“They want to see the best for Sleaford,” he said. “We have got to put politics to one side. If we all pull together we are there for the best for Sleaford and I am looking forward to it.”
The 1940s day will be held at the Town Hall and Navigation Yard on June 22. People will be invited to come along in period costume with prizes for the best dressed.
There will be live music, forties style dancing and people can bring a picnic.
Coun Snookes hoped to build on this in future years.