Former Ipswich mayor re-elected for interim period

New Ipswich Mayor Jane Riley

Ipswich mayor from 2018-19, Jane Riley, has been elected mayor until May 19 2021. Pictured here is the ceremony in 2018. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich's deputy mayor has formally been elected as mayor until May 19, following the resignation of the incumbent.

Holywells ward councillor Jan Parry stood down on January 30 as both mayor and councillor because of family reasons.

With the council formally requiring a mayor to chair full council meetings, deputy mayor Jane Riley agreed to step up until the next annual meeting when a new mayor is usually elected, set for May 19.

Mrs Riley had been serving as deputy following her year as mayor from 2018-19, and is joined by Peter Gardiner as her deputy until the same date - himself a former mayor from 1984-85.

New Mayor of Ipswich Jan Parry Picture: PAUL GEATER

Incumbent Ipswich mayor Jan Parry stepped down for family reasons in January - Credit: Archant

Councillor John Cook, who proposed Jane Riley for the position, said: "I had the honour to nominate Councillor Jane Riley as mayor in 2018, and in doing so I set out some of the attributes which I believed would make her a great mayor for Ipswich.

"Jane's performance as mayor, and more recently as deputy mayor, more than evidenced what I said at that time.

"Today we find ourselves in the unusual situation of electing a mayor to serve for a short period from today until the annual meeting of the council.

"There can be nobody better suited to step into this role than our current deputy mayor, Councillor Riley."

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It was confirmed that Mrs Parry's chosen charity, Volunteering Matters, will remain for any further fundraising activities.

Mrs Parry last year became just the fourth mayor in the town's history to stay on for a second consecutive term, after the Covid-19 pandemic meant the usual mayor making ceremony at the annual meeting had to be cancelled.

It was the first time in 70 years that had happened, the last being James Cullingham from 1947-49 when a major revamp of local government boundaries meant he needed to stay on to chair full council meetings for the changes.