Tourism is an important ingredient for the future prosperity of Lewes, said the town’s new Mayor.
Cllr Dr Micheal Turner was installed for his second term at the 40th Annual Meeting of Lewes Town Council.
In his acceptance speech, he said he was proud to again be the civic head of “England’s most attractive market town”.
Lewes is the largest town within any National Park and had a proven track record of being able to stage big events, he said – the Rodin exhibition, the Mumford & Sons concert and, not least, Bonfire Night.
Attracting people was key to the local economy, said Cllr Turner, who hinted at support for the controversial Premier Inn plans in Friars Walk.
“Maybe we need a well-designed budget hotel for visitors,” he said.
He said one of the biggest issues facing Lewes was the proposed development of the North Street Quarter and affordable housing.
His chosen charities will be the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, locally, and Parkinson’s UK.
The Mayoress is Cllr Turner’s wife, Anne, and the Deputy-Mayor is Cllr Sam Li.
The nomination at the Mayor-Making was made by Cllr Stephen Catlin, who described Cllr Turner as a “progressive thinker” and a champion of international friendship. He was a guiding light at Lewes Little Theatre and had a long involvement with Lewes Rugby Club among many local interests.
Cllr Susan Murray, in giving a vote of thanks to outgoing Mayor Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe, said she had been “the people’s Mayor”.
She said: “Ruth has devoted her time and energy to the role ... it’s a year that will be long remembered.”
Cllr O’Keeffe has officially attended no fewer than 426 events and spent only half the mayoral budget so the balance would mean four-figure sums could go to her chosen charities, St Peter and St James Hospice at Chailey and Pippa’s Group.
She said it had been an honour to be Mayor. “Thanks to all the amazing people who have invited me to come to see them,” she said.
For more pictures of the event see page 36.