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Swaffham mayor elected for third term

PUBLISHED: 16:54 20 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:54 02 June 2010

Swaffham councillors have elected the town's mayor for a third term, despite concerns that the move involved waiving normal procedures.

Shirley Matthews will be at the helm for another year, after the majority Conservative group backed her for the top position at the council's monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Swaffham councillors have elected the town's mayor for a third term, despite concerns that the move involved waiving normal procedures.

Shirley Matthews will be at the helm for another year, after the majority Conservative group backed her for the top position at the council's monthly meeting on Wednesday. She will run the council along with Conservative councillor David Harman who takes over from previous deputy mayor David Butters.

Opposition councillors David Wickerson and Charles Gunner also stood for the mayor and deputy mayor positions respectively, but failed to obtain the necessary votes to clinch the top jobs.

As reported last week, Mrs Matthews explained that standing orders were suspended because Mr Butters decided to step down and concentrate on his work at the town's museum.

She told the Times: “The normal procedure would be that David Butters would slip into being mayor, and we would vote for the deputy mayor.”

However, because Mr Butters relinquished the job, standing orders guiding such procedures were suspended and councillors were asked to vote both for the mayor and the deputy mayor.

Following the election Mrs Matthews paid tribute to Mr Butters and praised his work as deputy mayor. She said councillor Butters was a true Swaffham man, born and bred, who had a real passion for the town.

Mr Harman, 63, who has been on the council for a year, said he was honoured and pleased to have been elected deputy mayor.

“I expect to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible about the job,” he said.

“I look forward to the 29th June when we will be unveiling the town's new war memorial, and that comes very timely as the Government has just announced that they intend to recognise our armed forces by creating a special day celebrating them.

“I am also hopeful that we'll be making some positive progress on our hospital. At the present we don't really know what's happening.”

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