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Third time as Mayor of Leek for councillor Keith Harrison.

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 06, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • From the left, councillors John Fisher, Alex Povey, Charlotte Atkins, Ben Emery, John Povey, Neal Podmore, Keith Harrison (Mayor), Pam Wood (Deputy Mayor), Brian Johnson, Robert Plant, Margaret Lovatt, and Barry Cowie.

  • Leek Town Mayor Keith Harrison.

  • Leek Town Mayor Keith Harrison.

  • Leek Town Mayor Keith Harrison.

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A long-serving councillor has taken on the civic role of town mayor for a third time.

Leek town councillor Keith Harrison was voted by fellow members to be the mayor for the next 12 months at the authority's annual meeting.

He was previously Leek Town Mayor between 1996/97 and 2003/04.

Councillor Harrison, aged 75, said: "Thank you very much for this chance again. It is always an honour and a pleasure to serve the town.

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"I am born and bred in Leek. When Leek was first built it was between the market place and the church, and I was born within those 200 yards.

"I love this town and would like to see the 12 of us town councillors working together.

"There have been a few knocks over the last few years.

"There's been foul language used in this chamber which I do not agree with.

"We need to work together to try and lead the town forward."

When it came to deciding on the deputy mayor for the next 12 months, half the council voted for Councillor Ben Emery and half voted for Councillor Pam Wood, leaving Mr Harrison to have the casting vote for Mrs Wood.

She was mayor during 2012/13 and deputy before that.

She said: "I am very honoured to hold this position a second time and in such a short space in time. I look forward to working with Keith and his wife Gill and will do my best to support them."

In a vote of thanks for retiring Mayor John Fisher, Councillor Charlotte Atkins said: "John and his wife Pat have both been great ambassadors of the town.

"The civic ball was testament to that.

"John has been at the forefront of recognising tourism in town with the Four Towns Initiative and with his part in trying to retain the Tourist Information Centre in a prominent position in town.

"We must also congratulate John for overseeing the successful bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund for commemorating the start of the First World War and for his support in the town council giving funds to the Foxlowe Arts Centre, which will be a great benefit to the town.

"I am also very pleased that John hosted a civic reception for Leek Rugby Club.

"I think John has done a great job for the town."

Councillor Fisher said of his civic year, which saw him and his wife Pat attend more than 100 events: "It has been a great privilege to be Mayor of Leek, one that my wife Pat and I have enjoyed.

"We have raised just shy of £8,000. I have thoroughly enjoyed that part of it from climbing Ben Nevis to Gerald Mee's Film Night.

"Thanks to friends, colleagues and members of the public for supporting our fund-raising.

"Some of the money raised has been given to local causes including Leek Choral Society and the Phoenix Singers."

The remainder of Mr Fisher's fund-raising pot is to be split between the @21 Town Centre Young People's Project, Moorlands Home Link, the Endon and Stoke branch of the Chernobyl's Children's Project, and The Foxlowe Arts Centre.

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