New Ipswich mayor sworn in

New Ipswich mayor for 2021, Elizabeth Hughes

New Ipswich mayor for 2021, Elizabeth Hughes - Credit: Nicole Drury/IBC

Ipswich's new mayor has been sworn in at the first in-person meeting of the borough council for more than a year.

Labour Gipping councillor Elizabeth Hughes took over the robes of office from Jane Riley at Wednesday's night's Ipswich Borough Council annual meeting - with Labour councillor for Alexandra, John Cook, joining her as deputy for the year ahead.

Ms Hughes said she was exceptionally humbled to be selected as mayor, and added: "We are all coming out of a very difficult time in our country and in our town and we have a lot of work to do to get back to some semblance of normality.

"The world has changed and Ipswich is changing too.

"2021 will, I hope, will be a year of joy, hope and happiness, with much to enjoy and look forward to in the coming year."

New Ipswich mayor for 2021, Elizabeth Hughes

New Ipswich mayor for 2021, Elizabeth Hughes - Credit: Nicole Drury/IBC

She recognised the last year had been one of loss both publicly and privately for people across the town, and referenced her own grief after her husband David died in January 2020.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted "the wonderful people of this town who have broken cover and come out as community champions" and said she wants to "make this mayoral year full of positivity about who we are and who we want to become".

She added: "Ipswich, like the world, continues to change - and we can influence that change to make Ipswich more like the town we want it to be."

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Ms Hughes' fundraising efforts will benefit the Creative Computing Club - an Ipswich-based organisation which delivers sessions for youngsters in coding, video game design and robotics.

New Ipswich deputy mayor for 2021, John Cook

New Ipswich deputy mayor for 2021, John Cook - Credit: Nicole Drury/IBC

The organisation is also working to help address digital poverty with Suffolk County Council through the IT Kit for Kids campaign to ensure youngsters have adequate access to computer equipment.

Outgoing mayor Jane Riley, who stepped up to the role in February when the previous mayor Jan Parry had to resign for personal reasons, said: "It has been an honour to represent our town and I am sure our new mayor will relish the role and play a vital part in celebrating the civic, commercial and community life of Ipswich over the forthcoming year."

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