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New mayor in rallying cry to youngsters

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

ENCOURAGING younger people to get involved in their community will be one of the key themes of the new Felixstowe mayor's year in office.

Malcolm Minns fears that many of the town's voluntary services and organisations face uncertain futures because of a lack of new blood.

ENCOURAGING younger people to get involved in their community will be one of the key themes of the new Felixstowe mayor's year in office.

Malcolm Minns fears that many of the town's voluntary services and organisations face uncertain futures through lack of new blood.

"I have been anxious for a long time about the future of some of our splendid voluntary services because they are largely staffed and run by people of a more mature age," he said.

"I think we could have serious problems and lose some of these groups unless we can persuade younger, or even middle-aged, people to come forward and join them to bring fresh enthusiasm and new, modern ideas.

"I would like to see more people become involved in the community all round and hope that will happen during the year ahead."

Mr Minns, deputy mayor for the past year, was elected as mayor last night at Felixstowe Town Council's annual meeting, succeeding Harry Dangerfield.

Mr Dangerfield said he and his wife Pam had "thoroughly enjoyed" their year in office, which had featured 243 civic engagements, the highlights including meeting the Duchess of Gloucester when she visited the town, the resort's Anglia in Bloom success, and trips to its German twin towns.

Mr Minns, 70, a Conservative town and district councillor, started his working career in local government as a finance officer at Bury St Edmunds. He then moved into marketing and research.

After retiring in 1985, he and his wife Josephine, the new mayoress, took over the post office and stores at Ufford. In 1991, they retired and moved to Felixstowe.

Mr Minns, who was elected to the town council at a by-election in 1992, also served as mayor three years ago.

He has been involved in many local issues and was a key member of the Save the Bartlet Hospital campaign.

He is very keen on sport and was part of the team that set up Brackenbury Sports Centre at Felixstowe, and has been involved with the town's hockey club.

Mr Minns said he and his wife were anticipating a busy year – especially with the golden jubilee celebrations about to move into top gear.

"The first time I was mayor we had about 200 engagements, which we thought was a lot – but now it seems to be almost one a day. We are looking forward to it very much and will do our best for the town," he added.

The new deputy mayor is Doreen Savage, who has been the town's first citizen twice before and is currently chairwoman of Suffolk Coastal council.


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