One of Littlehampton’s ‘best mayors’ completes year in office

Littlehampton's new mayor Alan Gammon is congratulated by his predecessor, Joyce Bowyer
Littlehampton's new mayor Alan Gammon is congratulated by his predecessor, Joyce Bowyer

DESCRIBED as one of Littlehampton’s “most successful mayors,” Joyce Bowyer completed her year in office by raising a record total for charity.

And one of her finals act as mayor was to present a cheque for £11,533.10 to Kathy Lowe from the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the most ever raised by the town’s first citizen.

During the hand-over, Joyce said: “This has been my chosen charity for this year. It’s inspirational.

“The charity is vital in helping to forward research into breast cancer and it was a pleasure to raise money for them.”

Kathy said: “Joyce has done so much for us during this past year. We’re all so grateful for everything.”

Joyce was also praised by fellow town council member, and former mayor, Dr James Walsh.

He thanked her for all her hard work, saying: “You have been a great ambassador for the town at various civic events around the town.

“You have produced the largest charity fund that any mayor has ever produced. You are one of the most successful mayors this town has ever had and you will be sorely missed.”

During her speech, Joyce said: “Being mayor of Littlehampton has been a fantastic honour.

“I have been able to see, at first hand, how our community really works – and work is the operative word. I will always treasure the memories of Armed Forces Day; the Littlehampton bonfire and carnival; the town show and family fun day.”

Joyce expressed her sadness that mayor-elect Nick Wiltshire had been unable to take up the office after failing to be elected at the council elections earlier this month. She also paid tribute to other town councillors who had either stood down or not been re-elected, including Mark Butler, George O’Neill, Ian Buckland, Delma Mayer-Pezhanzki and Dave Botting, and town clerk Peter Herbert, mayor’s assistant Carolyn Cudmore and other town council staff and members for their help.

Alan Gammon is now the town’s new mayor, after being nominated by Joyce. This is his second term as civic leader, four years after he first wore the ceremonial chain.

He thanked the council for putting its trust in him and announced that he would be supporting not one particular charity in his year in office, but would be establishing a fund and inviting nominations of organisations to share in the proceeds. He will also again be running his mayoral “at home” surgeries, giving residents the chance to raise issues of concern with him.

Alan also announced that his mayoress would be Penny Rogers, who was presented with her insignia during the meeting.

The new deputy mayor is Emma Neno, who is now set to become the town’s youngest mayor should she be elected next year at the age of 34, beating Malcolm Belchamber, now one of the longest-serving town councillors, by more than a year.

Joyce is now looking forward to spending more time walking her dog and has vowed to continue her charity work.