Thatcham welcomes returning mayor John Boyd
THATCHAM has a familiar face as its new mayor with John Boyd being elected to wear the civic chain for a second time.
Mr Boyd (Lib Dem, Thatcham Colthrop and Crookham) has been deputy mayor for two years and takes over from Mike Cole, who stayed on a second year during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Boyd, who served as mayor from 2012-13, said on being elected again that "the honour is not something that has passed by me".
"I really consider this position a great honour indeed," he added. "It's something that when you undertake the duties of mayor you see parts of the town and people that you just would not have seen otherwise, and that's something that I'm very much looking forward to."
Mr Boyd said that the town had faced challenges in the last year but felt fortunate to have a mayor of Mr Cole's ability in the role at such a crucial time.
He hoped for a steady road out of the pandemic that would "allow us to see the great community spirit that lives within our town."
Mr Boyd has chosen Swings & Smiles and community non-profit organisation Thatcham Town Cricket Club as his chosen charities.
His daughter Kellie will be his mayoress and pastor and team leader at Thatcham Baptist Church, David Taylor, his chaplain.
Proposing Mr Boyd as mayor, Owen Jeffery (Lib Dem, Thatcham Central) said: "John can say something that not many of us in this chamber can say. John was born and bred in Thatcham.
"John cares about people. He's generous in his assessment of people, he's committed to this town, the town of his birth - Thatcham."
Veteran councillor Jeff Brooks (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) was elected deputy mayor, with Mr Cole saying he was highly experienced and knowledgeable whose passion and drive to improve the town would be a fantastic support to Mr Boyd.
In his retirement speech Mr Cole said: "It's been an absolute honor to be mayor for an extended period of two years in what's been an incredibly challenging time."
He said that being mayor of his town was the best job in the world, and praised town council officers for their work during the pandemic with organising volunteers and co-ordinating with the West Berkshire Community Hub - doing things way outside their job description, superbly lead by town clerk Mel Taylor.
Mr Cole thanked the community for its response to the pandemic and the work of Thatcham's clubs, societies and charities to build the strong community spirit in the town.
David Lister remains as town council leader, with Mr Jeffery replacing Jennifer Walker as deputy.