New mayor to represent resort countywide

DON Smith's first month as the new mayor of Felixstowe will see him settling into the role by representing the resort all over the county.But while his engagements for his first few weeks in office will see him travelling outside the town, there will be many on home turf in the year ahead.

DON Smith's first month as the new mayor of Felixstowe will see him settling into the role by representing the resort all over the county.

But while his engagements for his first few weeks in office will see him travelling outside the town, there will be many on home turf in the year ahead.

Labour councillor Mr Smith, and his wife Jean, accompanying him as mayoress, expect to attend around 200 events during their year.

In the next few weeks, these will include the Beat the Retreat at the Bury Festival, the annual mayor-making at Bury St Edmunds, the Suffolk College Civic Celebration in Ipswich, and the Mayor's Service at Eye.

Mr Smith, who took over as the seaside town's first citizen from outgoing mayor Doreen Savage at Felixstowe Town Council's annual meeting, said it was a "great privilege" to be mayor and hoped he would live up to expectations.

He quoted the words of St Paul in his letter to the Philippians: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

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Retired civil servant Mr Smith, of Roman Way, Old Felixstowe, said: "If I can do that in the course of the coming year I think I will keep my feet on the ground."

He is a well respected figure in local politics and a greatly experienced councillor. He was first elected to County Hall in 1980 and has been a county councillor for 20 of the past 24 years, serving as chairman for two years running, 1997-99.

He has been a town councillor for most of the past decade, and twice served as deputy mayor.

Mr Smith, who moved to Felixstowe in 1970 when working for Customs and Excise, plans to make young people the focus of his mayoral year, and also the necessity to raise the rest of the money for the town's all-weather sports pitch.

His many other roles include school governor, member of the advisory council on Religious Education, chairman of the development control sub committee at County Hall, magistrates' court observer, member of Felixstowe highways advisory and libraries and heritage groups, and the Suffolk Association of Volunteer Organisation Trustees.

New deputy mayor is shop owner Cyril Webb, who has twice served as mayor, 1981 and 1994, and he will be accompanied by his wife Jean as mayoress.

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