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Cllr Michaela Ellis installed as mayor of Lyme Regis

THE new mayor of Lyme Regis spoke of the ‘honour and privilege’ of serving the town as she was officially sworn in.

The ancient mayor-making ceremony took place at the Guildhall in Lyme Regis, when outgoing mayor Cllr Owen Lovell handed over the mantle to Cllr Michaela Ellis.

Cllr Ellis will serve as first citizen for a second time, having previously held office for two years between 2009 and 2011.

Cllr Steve Miller was also officially sworn in as deputy mayor.

Cllr Lovell praised Cllr Ellis for her long service to the town and said she had been a ‘popular mayor’ during her previous term of office.

He said: “I wish Michaela and Alan an enjoyable time as mayor and consort.”

Cllr Ellis said she felt ‘honoured and privileged’ to serve as mayor.

She said: “I look forward to attending with Alan as many events as we can in the town and in Dorset.”

She added: “I hope to achieve the best I can for our town, the residents and visitors.”

In his toast to Lyme Regis Town Council, former Bridport town and strict councillor David Tett said local government in Dorset was in the ‘throes of change’.

He said: “I believe challenging times lie ahead for the town council, but in Michaela’s safe hands and with the advice of the town clerk, members will rise to the challenge and make the right decisions for the people of Lyme Regis.”

Responding to Mr Tett’s toast, town, district and county councillor Daryl Turner said the current administration was a united council.

He said: “I can assure you this current group of men and women have the town at their hearts. We are an effective town council and will continue to improve.”

Cllr Brian Larcombe led the toast to the council officers and staff, and said the range of issues they dealt with was ‘remarkable’ for a town the size of Lyme Regis.

He said: “Thanks to you all for what you have done and the things you will do in the years to come.”

Town clerk John Wright responded to the toast and emphasised the council was ‘one organisation’.

He said: “We’ve all got to work together. In two or three years’ time we are going to be working to a different structure in local government, and this town council, along with other town councils, will have a much bigger role in the future.”

David Sarson, president of the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis, made a toast to the ‘beautiful town’ of Lyme Regis.

He said: “This town, and of course more importantly the contribution made by its people, has made it so popular to visitors. We have so much to offer, showcasing many events through the year.”

Responding, Cllr Cheryl Reynolds said the heart of the town was the people.

She said: “When you have problems, you often wish no one knew about it. But the great thing about this community is the very fact that when you do have a problem, someone knows about it so you have the kind of help and support you need.”

Cllr Richard Doney spoke of the ‘burden of trust’ that falls on the press and media.

He added: “We are very lucky in the town of Lyme Regis to have two local newspapers dedicated to promoting the community.”

In response, Philip Evans, of View From newspapers, praised councillors past and present.

He said: “I would like to pay tribute to all of you who have served over the years, and for the dedication in serving this great town in which we live.”