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South Tyneside Council Annual Meeting

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Full house!

I’m not the only one who had a busy day, our newly elected councillors in South Tyneside were in South Shields Town Hall for the Annual Meeting of the borough council, it must have been nerve racking and a little tense for the newcomers, it is always a big occasion as a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor are installed and new committee chairs are announced. I was asked by Cllr, Jim Sewell to  take some pictures of himself, his wife, and close family as he enjoys the honour of becoming the first citizen of the borough, I was flattered and a bit awestruck by the size of Jim’s extended family. I was hoping to grab some relaxing shots of himself and his family in the Mayor’s Parlour, but looking at the size of his guest list I think they would easily have filled the Town Hall forecourt!

I can imagine that the Annual Meeting is a day filled with pride for a new Mayor and Mayoress, indeed many former Mayors have told me of the trepidation that they felt upon facing chairing their first meeting, Jim was no different, although he appeared calm and relaxed in the ante room an hour before the meeting he was actually worried sick that some of his travelling relatives might not arrive on time for the start of the meeting. I wished that I could have stayed but needed to be in two places at once today, so had to dash away and return later for more pictures. It gives me the opportunity of showing off our new Mayor to the world (I do like to promote our corner of Tyneside) and I’ll give you all a look at his family with a bit of a picture special tomorrow.

Like the State Opening of Parliament, our Annual Meeting is getting to be a bit of a fashion event with some snazzy dressing up going on, Cllr. John McCabe again arrived in full Scottish costume minus the bagpipes, Cllr. Anne Walsh looked like she was ready to fly off to Dublin to meet the Queen,  Cllr. “longlegs” Welsh was looking very chic in a stylish catwalk creation, and Deputy Mayor Eilleen Leesk’s husband Peter had found a tie fashioned from the flock wallpaper of his favourite restaurant to go with his smart grey suit. I dressed in pink……oops!

As is normal on these days, the new Mayor holds a Civic reception after the meeting with a buffet and refreshments for the many guests who had travelled from all parts of the country to join him and wish him well for the forthcoming year, and also, as is usual, some of those councillors who happily spend the rest of the year publishing newsletters bemoaning how much of our money other councillors spend on “refreshments” were seen to be sauntering around (you guessed it) wine glass in hand enjoying the refreshments!

Good to see veteran Progressive councillor Jimmy Capstick too, glad he’s out and about with a decent healthy colour in his cheeks, and happy that he’s slowly getting over his recent illness.

Also had a few nudges and whispers from some, and the promise of big news from another, I wonder that could be all about?

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