Sarah Barber takes over as new mayor of Ipswich at glittering ceremony

PUBLISHED: 20:05 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 20:07 17 May 2017

The new mayor of Ipswich, Sarah Barber. Picture: CHRISTINE KNIGHT

The new mayor of Ipswich, Sarah Barber. Picture: CHRISTINE KNIGHT


Labour councillor Sarah Barber has been formally installed as Ipswich’s new first citizen at the mayor-making ceremony in the town’s Corn Exchange.

The new mayor of Ipswich, Sarah Barber. Picture: CHRISTINE KNIGHTThe new mayor of Ipswich, Sarah Barber. Picture: CHRISTINE KNIGHT

Mrs Barber is a nurse at Heath Road Hospital and has been a member of the borough since last year. She will combine her new role with her full-time job at the hospital and family life.

She takes over from Roger Fern who has been mayor for the last year alongside his consort and granddaughter Ellie Grist – who also works at the hospital.

Mrs Barber told the meeting: “As many of you know, I have been a nurse at Ipswich Hospital for the past 16 years and it is the desire that I had to become a nurse, to care and help people, that is the same desire that made me want to become a Councillor and now Mayor.

“The theme that I have chosen for my year in office is ‘This Mayor Can,’ because, with the right opportunities and examples, we can achieve ambitions that we could have never previously imagined, that can benefit us individually and society.”

The charities she will be raising money for during her year in office are Lighthouse Women’s Aid, the Ipswich Hospital Charity, and FIND – Families In Need in Ipswich.

She said: “Luke, my husband and consort, and I are looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“I would like to congratulate Roger and Ellie for their hard work and enthusiasm over the past year. Certainly, they offer a splendid example for Luke and I for the coming year.”

Mrs Barber said her colleagues on the council had helped her get to grips with her new role.

She said: “I would like to mention – or pick on – three colleagues for special mention because of their guidance over the past 12 months: Bill Knowles and Stephen Connelly at the South East Area Committee, and Sandra Gage, who was the first Councillor that I met and who encouraged me to become involved in local politics.”

She paid tribute to members of her family who have helped her in her new role, including one missing from the celebrations.

She said: “There is one person, who only a few people in this hall would have met, who gave me the first demonstration of the importance of public service and civic duty. That is my dad, who served in the Army and died when he was 45 years old.”

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