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Beryl Blackmore elected as new Mayor of Wrexham

Wrexham's new mayor Beryl Blackmore (Pic: Wrexham Council)

THE NEW mayor of Wrexham has been hailed for putting the community at the heart of her work after taking up her chain of office.

Cllr Beryl Blackmore, who represents the Marford and Hoseley ward on Wrexham Council, was elected to the role at a meeting held yesterday (Tuesday, 21 May).

The Liberal Democrat was sworn in at a mayor making ceremony at the city’s Guildhall after her name was put forward by Llay councillor Rob Walsh (Ind).

In his nomination speech, he listed her many roles within the community, which included setting up the first Guides group in Marford and establishing the after-school club at the Rofft School.

Cllr Blackmore also served as a youth court magistrate and as a governor of Darland High School in Rossett.

Cllr Walsh, a former Liberal Democrat who sits on the council’s executive board, told the meeting it was a “great honour” to nominate her as mayor.

He said: “Beryl is originally from Liverpool but has lived in Wrexham now for 48 years.

“Within that period, Beryl has gone on to become one of the greatest community champions that our Wrexham communities have ever known.

“Personally, I first met Beryl 17 years ago when we were members of the Lib Dems.

“I think we were both very much inspired by the late great Aled Roberts, a man who is still greatly missed by so many people in this room. But I was also inspired by Beryl herself.

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“The thing which inspired me most about Beryl was that in everything she said, everything she did and everything she wanted, the community was at the heart of it.”

Cllr Blackmore takes over as mayor from Garden Village councillor Andy Williams (Ind), who served his second term in the role during the last 12 months.

Gwersyllt East councillor Tina Mannering (Ind) was chosen as deputy mayor at the meeting.

In her acceptance speech, Cllr Blackmore said she understood that it was the first time both a female mayor and deputy mayor had served at the same time in Wrexham.

She said: “I believe Tina and I are making history as female mayor and deputy.

“Looking back, the first ever lady mayor was a lady called Elizabeth Garrett (Anderson) in 1908, who lived in Suffolk.

“She was also the first female to qualify as a doctor and she had to go to France to train.

“The men of society felt that women were far too weak to take up her profession. She was a suffragette.

“Ladies of the council, I know we have a lot to thank the suffragettes for, it’s our year.”

She jokingly added: “Gentlemen of the council, there’s a saying in guiding, be prepared. You have been warned.”

Cllr Blackmore said she would be raising money for a bowel cancer charity and the Unbeatable Eva Foundation during her time as mayor.

Cllr Williams, the outgoing mayor, hailed Wrexham’s growth in recent years during his final speech.

He said: “Serving this remarkable county has been an honour beyond words, and I’m filled with deep appreciation for the opportunities that have come my way during the last 12 months.

“My two terms of office couldn’t be more different from watching our unknown town slowly deteriorate, with shops closing, to opening a new business nearly every other week this year and our new city becoming a global brand.

“Over the course of my term, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the remarkable spirit and resilience of the people of Wrexham. It is the spirit that truly sets our county apart from others.”

Addressing the new mayor and deputy mayor, he added: “If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to be yourself and give 110 per cent.

“It can be a tiring role, but smile, and treat every engagement you attend as if it’s your first. You will all be amazing ambassadors for the county, and we wish you well.”