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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Abbey

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


1.1             Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A Hollaway, M L Jordan, C Reid, R J G Smith, C Softley and M G Sztymiak.


Election of Mayor

To elect a Mayor for the Borough for the ensuing year.  


2.1             With the retiring Mayor, Ruth Hatton, in the chair, it was proposed by Councillor Elaine MacTiernan, and seconded by Councillor Mike Dean, that Councillor Gill Blackwell be, and is hereby elected, Mayor of the Borough of Tewkesbury for the ensuing Municipal Year.

2.2             On the Motion being put to the meeting it was declared to be carried, whereupon the Mayor took the chair, signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen.

2.3             In thanking Members for the honour and pleasure of being elected Mayor of the Borough of Tewkesbury, and those present for attending the ceremony, Councillor Blackwell indicated that Tewkesbury Borough was working hard with all of its communities to raise the profile of the Borough, whether it be employment or leisure interests. Officers at the refurbished Borough Council offices worked hard to help all members of the community with the Public Services Centre not only accommodating office staff but also the Police, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and officers from Gloucestershire County Council’s Social Services, among others. The Council was also the first local authority in the country to have a Growth Hub within its building which helped businesses with information and provided a place to get assistance with all aspects of growing a new business. As Mayor for the coming year, she hoped to be able to promote the Borough in the best possible way and to ensure that the ‘open to everyone’ message was carried across the whole Borough, especially to those in the communities that may need extra assistance.

2.4             The Mayor advised that her Consort for the year would be her husband, Mike Blackwell, and she hoped that together they would be able to represent the Borough at as many events as possible. Her Chaplain for the year would be Reverend Wendy Ruffle and she offered her thanks to Wendy for her continued support. The Mayor also announced the organisations that she would be supporting during her Mayoral Year which were the Butterfly Garden at Bamfurlong Lane and the Maritime Volunteer Service – Severn Unit. The Butterfly Garden offered people of all ages who were dealing with disablement of any kind the chance to feel that they had an opportunity to do something purposeful through its offer of education, recreation and therapy. The Maritime Volunteer Service aimed to keep the UK’s maritime tradition alive by training and delivering skills to nationally recognised standards; its members were volunteers and helped out in times of need and emergency for local communities which the Mayor considered to be of great value to Tewkesbury as the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon.

2.5             In concluding her speech, the Mayor thanked everyone for attending and hoped they would have an enjoyable evening. She also thanked the organist and each of the students, whose contributions to the ceremony had made it such an enjoyable event, as well as Reverend Wendy Ruffle and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Retiring Mayor - R M Hatton


3.1             Councillor Jim Mason expressed the Council’s thanks to Ruth Hatton for the way that she had represented the Borough throughout her year in Office. Councillor Mason indicated that, 12 months ago, he had had the great privilege to propose Ruth for the position of Mayor as he knew she would be excellent in the role. He felt she had been a fantastic ambassador for the Borough and, together with her Consort, had attended well over 100 functions and events. There were too many engagements to mention them all but there were a few he felt demonstrated how wholeheartedly Ruth and Harry had embraced Ruth’s Mayoral year; they had joined the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service on their ‘bed push’ challenge which had raised over £15,000 for the Gloucestershire Oncology Centre; attended the German Bivouac at the ARRC where Ruth had made a speech in German having never spoken the language before; crowned the May Queen and King at the Woodmancote fete; and Ruth had read a poem when attending the Women in Aviation exhibition at the Jet Age Museum. Councillor Mason felt it was those little extra personal touches that had made the year such a success; Ruth had also attended a number of events involving young people including Alderman Knight’s Got Talent Show, Angels and Superheroes and a Scratch Nativity play at Queen Margaret’s Primary School where Harry had dressed up as an elf. Ruth had been a great supporter of the youth of the Borough raising funds for her charitable organisations; the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service – Tewkesbury Fire Cadets and the Aston Project, and she had invited young people from those organisations to take part in her Civic Service and talk about some of the things they were involved in. Councillor Mason indicated that, at Council meetings, Ruth had been a fair and impartial Chair who had managed the meetings expertly and ensured a smooth transaction of business with her usual quiet authority. He was of the view that Ruth had looked after the other Councillors like a mother hen tending her chicks, ensuring they were all well-fed after Council meetings with her home-prepared food, and felt she would be a hard act to follow with her kindness and true dedication to the Borough – although he was sure the newly elected Mayor would be up to the challenge. In summing up, Councillor Mason expressed his sadness that both Ruth and Harry had lost their seats in the recent local elections and, whilst that was democracy, they would be missed. Ruth had conducted her Mayoral year with great dignity and decorum and had been exceptionally popular out in the community and was spoken about with great affection and warmth – she had received great support from Harry and together they had worked tirelessly with compassion and commitment making everyone feel comfortable with their quiet and relaxed way as they had hosted and attended many functions; it had been a very successful year full of great  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.




4.1             Upon the Motion of the Mayor, the meeting of the Council stood adjourned until Tuesday 28 May 2019 at 6.00pm.     




5.1             The meeting then resumed in the Severn Room at the Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury on Tuesday 28 May 2019, when the attendance was as follows: