THERE was cause for celebration as, having only recently welcomed a new child, the mayor of Holsworthy for 2023/24 graciously accepted the chain of office.

Cllr Nigel Kenneally has served as deputy to Cllr Helen Parker for the last year and says he has some “big boots to fill”, but was delighted to have received guidance from such a “safe pair of hands”.

The official mayor choosing ceremony was held in Holsworthy Memorial Hall on Wednesday, May 17.

Giving her final report, Cllr Parker said: “There has been a number of personnel changes to the council over the past 12 months. We thank those who have left for their service to the council and the town. We have also welcomed new faces, who were all coopted during the past year.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my deputy mayor, Cllr Nigel Kenneally, and all my fellow councillors for the support they have given me.”

Cllr Parker continued: “I also wish to thank our town clerk, Mrs Vanessa Saunders, and assistant town clerk, Miss Tegan Watson-Bell, for the hard work they do supporting councillors and managing the day-to-day business of the council.

“Thanks go to George (Wilcox) also, our handyman and gardener, who manages all the tasks we give him.

“Special thanks go to my consort Ian, for supporting me in the last two and a half years of my mayorship. He has accompanied me to many civic events, helping me this past year. We have been very proud to represent Holsworthy and I have been privileged to meet many wonderful people who work hard to promote their community.”

Due to her personal experiences, Cllr Parker’s two chosen charities for the year had been Breast Cancer Now and Lymphoma Action. She was delighted to announce that, as a town, Holsworthy had helped raise £2,900 to be shared between the two organisations.

She added: “Can I just say how much I have enjoyed being Holsworthy’s mayor, and I wish the incoming mayor and deputy all the best wishes. I hope they enjoy it as much as I have and I look forward to working with them and my fellow councillors this year.”

As her final act, Cllr Parker nominated Cllr Kenneally as new mayor for Holsworthy.

She said: “He has proven an able deputy. He has shadowed me at most of my meetings and I believe he will lead the council to great things.”

The council unanimously agreed and the chain of office was handed to Cllr Keneally before his new deputy, Cllr Debra Ste Croix, was chosen.

Cllr Kenneally then launched his mayor’s charities for the year, choosing two local causes;  Holsworthy Youth Centre and Holsworthy Area Sports Pavilion.

Cllr Kenneally says he is very much looking forward to the year to come and hopes he can do the town proud.

He said: “I am beyond honoured to have been elected Mayor of Holsworthy by my fellow  councillors. Holsworthy is a town I love and am committed to with all my heart, it also has the greatest community spirit of any town in Devon.  

“The people of Holsworthy always go above and beyond to help their fellow man/woman when times are tough., and you know full well that the people of Holsworthy will always band together to support those in need.

“I promise that I will do my best and to do all I can to promote and support this amazing community to the fullest of my abilities.”At the end of the ceremony, as a thank you for the hard work she has put in during two of the town’s toughest years, Cllr Kenneally was delighted to present Cllr Parker with a final gift.