Last Thursday evening, saw this year's High Peak Borough Council Annual Council and Mayor Making meeting, meaning that a new mayor would be taking over from Cllr George Wharmby who has held the chains of office for the last 12 months.
For the new Mayor and first citizen of the borough, I was pleased to nominated Buxton Councillor Matt Stone and you can you read why - what I said below :
Matt is a lifelong Buxtonian, with family ties to Buxton and the High Peak going back many generations, and when a little younger than at current he attended Buxton Infant and Junior Schools and the Buxton Community School.
Matt is a fanatically rugby fan, supporting Sale Sharks and previously playing for both Buxton and Derbyshire, and no doubt connected to the rugby, Matt is also a fan of real ales - an interest I suspect may well have come Mayoress to be mum Lynn.
Matt was first elected to the council in 2011 and along with ward neighbour Cllr Kerr is one of the youngest councillors to serve on High Peak Borough Council, and I'm sure will become our youngest ever Mayor.
Prior to becoming involved in local politics Matt was involved in organising the summer sport club for children at Buxton Community School, and both prior to and since become a councillor Matt has taken part in a number of charity endeavours, from cycling 50 miles around London for Sports Relief, to a sky driving fund-raiser for Christies Hospital to the slightly more painful no doubt of having his legs waxed, and I'm sure we await with interest what challenge he may come up to raise funds for the Mayor's Charities.
Since becoming a councillor, Matt has strived to bring a fresh perspective to the role, keen to serve the interests of the people of the town, an aim he will no doubt expand upon as first citizen of the borough. Through his work and other pursuits he is well known throughout his council ward, for his approachability and willingness to listen to their concerns, as a younger councillor a particular passion has been working to talk and more importantly listen to younger people across the patch and encourage them to engage in the civic process and not only vote but be political aware of the way decision and changes are made.
For the past year, Matt has had the privilege of serving as deputy mayor of the borough, and I hope and am sure that Matt has been a great support to you completing a number of duties throughout the year, with a favourite of the duties completed been attending the well dressing and crowing of the queens in Buxton.
Matt has also served diligently as vice chair of the licensing committee, a keen family interest no doubt picked up Mayoress to be mum Lynn who served as chair of licensing during her time on the council.
Throughout his year as deputy and during the year to come as Mayor, Matt has been ably supported by his mum Lynn who will take on the role and serve as Mayoress during Matts year - I know from Lynn's own time on the council during which she served as deputy Mayor, she will provide a source of support and assistance for him.
Mr Mayor, I sure you will agree Councillor Matt Stone will bring an infectious enthusiasm to the role of Mayor and whether it be jumping out of perfectly good planes to raise funds for charity, resting when not working by cycling the hills of the High Peak, or a past time I can share more interest in by trying real ales or good local food, he will make an excellent first citizen and Mayor of the borough for the High Peak, and I ask all members to support his nominations.
You can see a few pictures from the meeting below or on Flickr by clicking here