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Newport’s new Mayor inaugurated

Newport Mayor And Mayoress (pic: Newport City Council)

NEWPORT’S new Mayor has said it will be a “privilege” to serve as the first citizen of the city.

Councillor Trevor Watkins was officially inaugurated as the Mayor of Newport at last night’s council’s annual general meeting.

Cllr Watkins, 79, has been a Labour party member for more than 60 years and was first elected as a Newport City councillor in 2004. He is replacing former Mayor, Conservative councillor Martyn Kellaway .

At the meeting on Tuesday May 16, Cllr Watkins said: “It’s a privilege to be selected as Mayor of Newport. The two charities I have chosen to support are very close to my heart.”

His chosen charities are the Gwent-based mental health charity Growing Spaces and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The Tredegar Park and Marshfield councillor said: “I was an instigator in getting Newport Council to recognise MND and I want to continue this.”

Prior to becoming a councillor, Cllr Watkins worked in the security industry for around 15 years. He also worked for British Rail and ran a catering business.

Cllr Watkins has a number of hobbies which include gardening, stamp collecting and working on his American car.

Cllr Watkins’ daughter, Catherine Karlson, will be the Mayoress.

Cllr Watkins said: “Unfortunately I lost my wife in 2020, before the pandemic, so my daughter will be stepping in to the role.”

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Council leader Jane Mudd said she was “delighted” to see Cllr Watkins as Mayor. She described him as a “community-focused” friend and colleague.

The deputy Mayor, Cllr Pat Drewett, was also announced at the council’s AGM.

Labour councillor Drewett, who represents Allt-yr-yn, said: “I am very proud of my Newport roots and I feel so very privileged to have been given the task of serving the citizens of Newport as their deputy Mayor, which I will try do with integrity and in honour of my late wife, Joan, and of all my family.”