New Ipswich mayor Jan Parry ready for new role as town’s first citizen

PUBLISHED: 16:42 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:21 13 May 2019

New Ipswich mayor Jan Parry takes over the role on Wednesday. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

New Ipswich mayor Jan Parry takes over the role on Wednesday. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL


When new Ipswich mayor Jan Parry is robed up for the first time on Wednesday night, she should know what awaits her – she is following in the footsteps of her mother who was first citizen back in the mid-1980s.

Gillian Auton was mayor in 1985-86. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILGillian Auton was mayor in 1985-86. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Mrs Parry has only been Labour councillor for Holywells since last May - but civic service is in her blood.

Her mother, Gillian Auton, was mayor in 1986-87, and her father Jim was a Suffolk County Councillor and they were able to give their daughter some advice before she took on her new role.

The new mayor said: "Although they are now retired, they are still very interested in politics. I've been getting quite a few tips - although I have had to say that things have changed a little bit from the 1980s!"

She has fond memories of growing up in the town: "I lived in Ipswich from my early years when I attended Springfield Junior School and Northgate Grammar School for Girls.

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"I was a member of the Girls Brigade based at Bramford Road Methodist Church and I have very good memories of attending the different youth clubs and churches across the town.

"I studied archaeology and anthropology at New Hall, Cambridge before retraining to become a lawyer in my late 20s and returning to Ipswich in 2000 when I joined the personal injury team at the local law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite.

"My husband, Nick, is my consort. He also grew up in Ipswich. We met when he was at Northgate Grammar School for Boys. Although we went our separate ways after school, we later married and are the proud parents of four children and we have very recently welcomed a grandson."

Mr Parry is a musician, and although Mrs Parry has retired from full-time work she finds that her work as a councillor requires similar skills to her work as a lawyer.

She said she is particularly interested in working with young people in the town - and her charities will be Wassup and the "We Are Patrick" project which aim to tackle the problem of exploitation of young women and men in the town.

And Mrs Parry is aware that life will be very busy once she takes on the role at Wednesday's annual council meeting: "I've seen the diary, it's already filling up very rapidly!" she said.

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