At a Civic Ceremony on 7th June, Councillor Tim Cook declared his acceptance of office in the role of Mayor of Shaftesbury and pledged an oath of allegiance and to serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The Mayoralty is one of the most ancient offices in British history although its role, importance and public perception has changed throughout the ages. There are three main important roles for the Mayor in today’s local authorities and society – as a symbol of the authority, as a symbol of an open society and as an expression of social cohesion.
The Civic Ceremony is purely a ceremonial occasion, with the election to the position of Mayor being made as the first item of business at the Annual Town Council Meeting, this being held on 14th May 2019. Civic dignitaries from Gillingham, Blandford and Sherborne attended as well as current councillors and invited guests. Members of the public were welcomed to take part in the occasion and offered words of support for the new Mayor.
The Ceremony started off with the Town Crier and Mace Bearer introducing the Town Council’s maces, providing information about their history and purpose, relegating them now to solely ceremonial events. The Mayor announced that his wife, Mrs Margaret Cook would be Mayoress for the year and his charity would be Open House.
Mr Derek Beer, freeman of the town, presented the Mayor with the Freeman’s shepherds crook and the silver loving cup first presented by Edward Donald Webb, first freeman of the borough in 1904. This was filled with Irish whiskey in acknowledgment of the Mayoress’ heritage and passed around for all guests to take a drink with the toast “May love and loyalty abound, drink to this toast and pass around”.
Councillor Tim Cook says “I very much hope that both existing and newly elected councillors build on the excellent work over the last couple of years to deliver the council’s five year plan. Our mission statement is that the Town Council ‘will work conscientiously with the community to define and provide best value, high quality services and facilities, ensuring that Shaftesbury is a 21st Century Town that respects its heritage and upholds its values making it a great place to live, work, play and visit.’
I am concerned that small but significant pockets of deprivation still exist in the town which is why Shaftesbury Open House is my chosen charity for the year, giving support to the excellent work that their volunteers are doing to help people in the community overcome issues of food poverty, debt and homelessness “
If you would like to know more about the history of the Mayoralty or would like to invite the Mayor to your event, please contact the Town Council.