The new Mayor of Houghton Regis has decided “friendship” will be the theme during her year in office.
And as Councillor Laura Ellaway prepares to serve as the town’s first citizen for 2014-15, she told Gazette readers: “If any of you see me in the town – with or without the chain of office – please stop and say hello. It will be lovely to meet you.”
Councillor Ellaway, who was elected Mayor at the Houghton Regis Town Council meeting on Wednesday, added: “One aspect of life I feel passionate about and want to share with everyone as Mayor is the true meaning of friendship.
“Everyone has their own interpretation of friendship yet this year I want to work on helping us build stronger friends with each other.
“I look forward to meeting lots of new friends and I hope by the end of this year you will have made one or two new friends yourself.”
The Mayor moved to Houghton Regis 15 years ago and started working for Aldwyck Housing Association in 2008.
She was a parent governor at Kings Houghton Middle School from 2007 to 2009 and was appointed a community governor at Harlington Upper School in 2010.
Councillor Ellaway said: “I’m extremely proud to have been elected as Mayor for 2014-15 and I am looking forward to the year ahead.
“I have great pleasure in appointing my daughter Jessica as my consort for the year and I am sure that you will see a lot of us in the coming months.
“One of my toughest challenges so far has been choosing the charities I want to support this year.
“After a lot of thought, consideration and advice I have decided that the charities I am supporting are going to be Kingfishers, the Army Cadets and Houghton Regis Day Centre.
“It is important to me to raise funds that will stay in the town and benefit local people.
“I have a particular interest in community involvement which encompasses all age groups, and my goal is to get more residents to engage and take part, as well as taking pride in where they live.
“I wish to thank members of the council for electing me to the office of Mayor and as first citizen of this wonderful town.”
Councillor Robert Shimmin was elected Deputy Mayor for the year at the annual meeting.