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HONITON: ‘Faithful’ town servant is appointed mayor

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The new Mayor of Honiton, Councillor Peter Halse, pictured with Honiton Community College students Zoe Allen (left) and Maddie Rogers, was officially appointed last week

The new Mayor of Honiton, Councillor Peter Halse, pictured with Honiton Community College students Zoe Allen (left) and Maddie Rogers, was officially appointed last week

Honiton’s new mayor was officially appointed during the traditional mayor-making ceremony at the Beehive community centre last week. Hundreds of invited guests, including dignitaries and councillors from across East Devon, attended the ceremony on Monday evening (May 19th) to see Councillor Peter Halse take office for the first time. Councillor Halse, who has served as a town councillor for more than 30 years, succeeds Councillor David Foster after two years in the role, and the new mayor praised the work of his predecessor in helping to see the Beehive through to its completion. An experienced county and district councillor, Councillor Halse said he found the town council format to be the “best forum for debate”, and was looking forward to many “heated discussions” over the year ahead. He said: “We need visitors to Honiton and we welcome them into the town, but local people who know the area are the most important in standing up for the town and getting things done. “In my experience, the town council is the best format for debate – it is where the best decisions are made, by being able to say ‘I strongly disagree with your view, here is my view’. “I look forward to having many heated discussions with councillors over the coming year.” Councillor Halse also paid tribute to the work of the council staff, in particular the town clerk Chetna Jones, and said he hoped friends and family would continue to show their support during his term in office. Seconding the proposal for Councillor Halse to be appointed mayor, Councillor Vivienne Ash said he had served the council “faithfully” for many years and it was “long overdue” that he should become the first citizen. During the ceremony, the mayor’s wife was presented with flowers from Honiton Community College student Zoe Allen, before Maddie Rogers – a Year 12 student at the college – offered her best wishes on behalf of young people in the town. She said: “Honiton is a very important place for many people - it is not just a home but a town full of opportunities, especially for young people. “Councillor Halse has already had a huge involvement with the local community through his services in various chapels and his running of a local youth club for many years. “As one of the young people of Honiton, I hope that he can pass on and share his knowledge of our town with us just as the councillor he is succeeding as mayor has.” Councillor John Zarczynski was also appointed as Deputy Mayor during the ceremony, after being nominated by Councillor Les Lunt, who praised his work to support the Beehive and contribution as chairman of the council’s planning committee.

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