New Mayor takes the chains

Published Friday, 10th May 2019

Cllr John Lamb as Mayor, with SBC Chief Exec Alison Griffin and Mace Bearer Adam Tregoning.

The 99th Mayor of Southend-on-Sea has taken the chains as Cllr John Lamb was inaugurated as first citizen of the Borough.

In his acceptance speech at the annual Mayor Making ceremony on Thursday 9 May, attended by hundreds of council officials, residents, family members and friends, Cllr Lamb explained his great honour and pride at being elected to the role of Mayor.

He said: “I was not born in Southend-on-Sea. Both my wife Pat and I were born in the East End of London, in East Ham, however from as early as I can remember I’ve always had a love of Southend and Leigh.

“During my time as councillor I have served in various offices and cabinet roles. I was deputy leader for some nine years and the last five as leader of the Conservative Group, with the last three as Leader of the Council. All of which I have enjoyed and I’m proud to see the changes and improvements we have brought about to our Borough.

“One of my themes during my mayoral year is to promote music across the Borough and beyond. Music can make for a happier world, which I know our wonderful choirs and musicians do.

“Another theme running through my year will be supporting and promoting Armed Forces Veterans. These wonderful people, through the ages, have served our country and I’m sure you’d agree that they deserve not only our gratitude but our support because without their service, past and present, we would not have achieved the freedoms we enjoy today.

“I am immensely proud to have been elected as your mayor and will do my very best to uphold the fine traditions of the Mayoralty of Southend-on-Sea and be an effective ambassador for the Borough.”

Cllr Derek Jarvis, the outgoing Mayor, also looked backed on a very successful year after raising £55,000 for his elected charity the Southend Blind Welfare Organisation & Southend Community Fund.

Cllr Jarvis said: “It’s been an honour to serve as the 98th mayor of Southend-on-Sea. I said at Mayor making last year that it was an honour to become the first citizen of Southend-on-Sea, a place I believe will continue to grow in importance and become a benchmark against which other towns measure themselves.

“It’s all too easy to let some of the bad news drown out everything that is good. And there is a lot of good happening in Southend and I’ve taken every opportunity to bang that drum. As a Shoebury councillor I will continue to work hard to raise the profile of the eastern part of the Borough.

“One of the joys of the mayoral role is meeting with the mayors of other authorities, which we affectionately call the “chain gang”. Our meetings have given me a much wider appreciation of the county and knowledge I will put to use almost immediately as I return to my role as a councillor.”

Cllr Mark Flewitt was elected Deputy Mayor for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year.

The Mayor will be raising money during his municipal year for the Southend-on-Sea, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

His chaplain will be Rev’d David Wylie RN and the civic church this year will be St Margaret’s of Antioch in Lime Avenue, Leigh-on-Sea.

At the meeting Cllr Tony Cox was also elected Leader of the Council following two rounds of a named vote.

Councillor Lamb biography:

Councillor Lamb represents West Leigh ward and before becoming Mayor was Leader of the Council.

He is the 99th person to be inaugurated as the Worshipful the Mayor of Southend-on-Sea.

Cllr Lamb and his family moved to Leigh-on-Sea from Ilford in 1984. He worked his way up from a 15 year old apprentice for the London Underground in 1963, to business manager during 43 year-long career.

He joined the Sea Cadet Corps at the age of 11 and became a Royal Naval Reserve officer at the age of 21. He joined Leigh Sailing Club where he remains a member, after spending two years as vice commodore and three years as commodore. He still owns his own yacht and sails whenever he can.

As well as Leader of the Council, Cllr Lamb chaired the Appointments and Disciplinary Committee, Cabinet and the Shareholder Board and sits on the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Council.

He is also affiliated with the Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood Defence Committee, East of England LGA Employers Panel, East of England Local Government Association, East of England Strategic Authority Leaders Group, Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group, Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Key Cities, Leigh Port Partnership, Local Government Association Coastal Issues Interest Group, Local Government Association General Assembly, North Thames Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), Opportunity South Essex, PSP Southend LLP, South East European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) sub-committee, South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Thames gateway South Essex Transport Board and Thames Gateway Strategic Group.