The new Mayor of Lewes is Cllr John Lamb, who was installed with all the scarlet and gold splendour of the Mayor-Making ceremony last week.
He succeeds Cllr Janet Baah to the honour, and Cllr Stephen Catlin is the new Deputy Mayor.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Lamb told members of Lewes Town Council and assembled guests: “We have got to set an example in the way we go about managing our estate: use less plastic, move away from fossil fuels reduce our carbon footprint, as we have for example in the design of the new Malling Community Centre. And we must protect our green spaces.
“Then we need to reach out to the people in Lewes to encourage them to act as well. We are fortunate in having many groups in the town that are concerned about our environment. Let us give them all the support we can.
“In this we have one great ally: our Neighbourhood Plan, which was painstakingly put together by a group led by Susan Murray and Ian Linton and recently ‘made’ by the South Downs National Park. That plan is based on the notion of ecosystems services, a different way of looking at how we approach the built environment.
“The plan also contains a blueprint for Lewes Low Cost Housing, which is based on a formula for setting house prices that reflects the average annual salary in the town. At a time when the average house in Lewes costs over £450,00 that has the potential to stem the exodus of people from Lewes who cannot afford to live here anymore.
“Of course, the ability of the plan to deliver these benefits will depend on the town council’s determination to see it through. As other towns and villages have found it is by no means certain that outside agencies will stick to the plans that electors voted for in a referendum. It will be up to us to educate, cajole and campaign for our Neighbourhood Plan.”
Cllr Lamb was first elected to Bridge Ward in a by-election in 2013. He works as Executive Director of the British Assistive Technology Association which represents people involved in technology for disabled people.
He used to publish a magazine called Ability about assistive technology, and previously edited IT magazines and wrote about technology as a freelancer. Cllr Lamb has been a stalwart of Lewes Saturday Folk Club for the past eight years.
The Mayoress is his wife Gaynor, and the good causes he is supporting during his year in office are The Oyster Project and Lewes FC’s Mental Well-Being sides.