Billy ‘flabbergasted’ by historic second run as Littlehampton mayor

Billy Blanchard-Cooper. Picture: Scott Ramsey
Billy Blanchard-Cooper. Picture: Scott Ramsey

The mayor of Littlehampton has said he feels ‘absolutely flabbergasted’ to be elected for a historic second year running.

At the annual meeting of Littlehampton Town Council last night, Billy Blanchard-Cooper was voted in again. It is only the second time in the town council’s history that a mayor has served two consecutive terms, the first being when John Millington was mayor two years running after Littlehampton Urban District Council became Littlehampton Town Council 40 years ago.

He said: “One side of me says I still can’t quite believe it; I was surprised to become mayor the first time. To get in a second time, I’m absolutely flabbergasted and feel very honoured.”

Councillor James Walsh was due to become mayor this year, but due to forthcoming orthopaedic surgery, Dr Walsh stood down as he felt that it would be impossible for him to attend all the events that go with the job. At the meeting, he said: “If I cannot do it properly I should not let my name go forward now.”

He nominated Billy for a second year, as he said it ‘would give continuity, and certainty, and I believe will be well received in the community we serve’.

Councillor Tracey Baker will become deputy mayor.

Last year, Billy raised £5,262.04 for each of his mayoral charities, The Littlehampton Heritage Railway Association and Friends of Mewsbrook Park, the latter of which he is now chairman of and works in their café.

The councillor, who represents Beach ward, presented them with cheques at the meeting last night.

The mayor said he was still deciding on the charities he would choose this year, but they would focus on young people, he confirmed.

His main fundraiser, Curtain Up!, saw more than 100 performers perform at the Windmill Theatre.

In the coming year, he said he hoped to attend events he was unable to last year due to his busy schedule and continue to promote the town. He also wanted to use the mayor’s parlour at Manor House in Church Street more, as it has had restoration work done to it last year.

Because he was not expecting to be mayor for a second year, Billy said he has not had time to build up raffle prizes to raise money for his chosen charities this year – and called on local businesses to help. “I would be very much grateful if they can help,” he said.

To get the mayor to support your event or to donate a raffle prize, call the mayor’s office on 01903 732 063.