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MELKSHAM’S new mayor is cllr Pat Aves, who was voted in by councillors at the Annual Melksham Town Meeting, held on 1st June. She took over leadership from cllr Jon Hubbard who has held the post for the past year.
Cllr Aves won the vote, defeating cllr Hubbard by eight votes to seven.
For the first time, the meeting was held on Zoom and YouTube to uphold social distancing, but to also allow members of the public to watch the proceedings.
There was support for cllr Hubbard continuing for another year as previous mayors. Cllr Richard Wiltshire said it would be “churlish’”for councillors to renege on this practice and described it as a “mean minded act taken by some councillors. Cllr Martin Pain said, “Councillor Hubbard has been a wonderful mayor who has done extremely well. He has been a breath of fresh air. “
Councillor Mike Sankey proposed cllr Geoff Mitcham as mayor, saying he was “well known, well respected and well liked.” But in a surprise move, cllr Mitcham’s nomination was then withdrawn, leaving cllr Hubbard and cllr Aves to contest the position.
Cllr Vanessa Fiorelli asked for a recorded vote, which was as follows:-
In support of cllr Jon Hubbard; cllr Andrewes, cllr Brown, cllr Hubbard, cllr Mitcham, cllr Pain, cllr Sankey, and cllr Wiltshire.
In support of cllr Pat Aves; cllr Fiorelli, cllr Aves, cllr Iles, cllr Jeffries, cllr Watts, cllr Welch, cllr Westbrook and cllr Illman.
Cllr Hubbard congratulated cllr Aves on becoming the new mayor and wished her all the best for the next 12 months. He particularly thanked the town hall team who he said had worked through “seismic changes” in the last 10/11 weeks, running the town’s Covid-19 community support project. Cllr Hubbard said, “Thank you to each and every person who makes Melksham the very special place that it is.”
Cllr Aves thanked cllr Hubbard and his deputy and said all councillors hope to work together to represent the people of Melksham.
Cllr Geoff Mitcham was the only nomination for deputy mayor and was unanimously voted in, “Thank you very much for your confidence in me. I will do my best,” he said.