New mayor to promote 'joy, hope and happiness' in Ipswich

Ipswich councillor Elizabeth Highes

Gipping councillor at Ipswich Borough Council, Elizabeth Hughes, has been nominated to be the town's new mayor - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Ipswich's next mayor has said she aims to promote "joy, hope and happiness" in the town as it continues its recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

Gipping councillor Elizabeth Hughes has been selected by Ipswich Borough Council's controlling Labour group to be the town's next mayor.

She is set to be formally confirmed at Wednesday night's annual meeting in the Corn Exchange.

The role this year promises to be a little different as the town and country begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, with the likely shift from virtual engagements to in-person events over the course of the year.

The recovery of businesses, organisations, events and communities from the pandemic is set to be a major part of her work in the town.

She said: "I am thrilled to be asked, it's a huge honour and I am absolutely delighted to take it on.

"It's a little daunting because it's been a difficult year for the town.

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"I very much want to support all our communities, our residents, businesses and faith communities who have done so much for the town that hasn't been publicised."

Ipswich town centre

Supporting Ipswich as it moves out of Covid-19 restrictions will be among the key elements of the mayoral role this year - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ms Hughes paid tribute to the efforts of health workers, frontline employees and community organisations who helped through the pandemic.

She hopes to thank people throughout the town for their work and voluntary endeavours.

She has also endured a tough year personally, after losing her husband to cancer in January 2020. Her sister is set to be present at the mayor-making ceremony on Wednesday.

As such, her theme for the year ahead will be "joy, hope and happiness" as the town moves out of restrictions.

Her chosen good cause is the Creative Computing Club - an Ipswich-based organisation which runs weekend and after-school sessions for youngsters in things like computer coding, robotics and video game design.

The organisation is also an instrumental partner in the IT Kit for Kids campaign to secure laptops for youngsters to help tackle digital poverty.

She said: "They are nice people and very committed to what they are doing," adding that founder Matthew Applegate was "a real gem".

Details on fundraising activities are set to be publicised over the coming weeks and months.

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