Burgess Hill's new mayor 'thankful' for opportunity

Burgess Hill’s new mayor has described being ‘thankful’ after being entrusted with the position for the coming 2022/23 civic year.

Independent Peter Chapman, who represents Victoria on both the district and town councils, took over from Green Anne Eves at a meeting on Tuesday (May 17).

Janice Henwood will continue as deputy mayor, while Toffojul Hussein becomes an honorary deputy mayor in recognition of his services to the town and the Bangladeshi community.

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Peter told the Middy: “It’s great that Burgess Hill Town Council have finally given the youth a chance by installing a mayor ‘under the age of 40…I’m 39!’

New mayor Peter Chapman, Janice Henwood and Anne Eves

“I’m really thankful to my fellow councillors for entrusting me with this position and to the public for their continued support. For years I had sat at the back of the chamber, reporting on the meetings and asking awkward questions; now I have a seat at the top of the table, it’s quite surreal and unbelievable really.

“Cllr Eves was a really fun mayor who connected with the public and I will absolutely carry on in the same vein.

“As I come with the bonus of a significant following on the social platforms, I’m intrigued to see what kind of engagements the community groups and local businesses will send my way. I’ll be sure to give them good coverage.

“I’m really looking forward to the Queen’s Jubilee events taking place in town between Wednesday 1st – Sunday 5th June, I’d best learn how to write speeches rather quick.”

New Burgess Hill mayor Peter Chapman

Cllr Eves added: “It was an enormous pleasure and privilege to be mayor of Burgess Hill. I met so many different people, attended over 50 events and loved every minute of it.

“I am excited to hand over to a much younger mayor (aged 39), a man who is Burgess Hill born-and-bred, with a vast acquaintance, a superb memory, and an impressive command of the intricacies of social media. Cllr Chapman is fiercely devoted to his town and will be an excellent representative of its population.”

At the same meeting Lib Dem Robert Eggleston was appointed as leader for another year, with Joseph Foster continuing as his deputy.