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Barnstaple Mayor Making

By NDJJoe  |  Posted: May 17, 2014

Val Elkins: Outgoing mayor Lesley Brown has held the office for two years and will be replaced by Councillor Val Elkins

Outgoing mayor Lesley Brown has held the office for two years and will be replaced by Councillor Val Elkins

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In a ceremony in Barnstaple’s Guildhall the town’s current mayor passed on her chain to her successor.

Outgoing mayor Lesley Brown has held the office for two years and will be replaced by Councillor Val Elkins.

In 2008-2010 Mrs Elkins served as mayoress to the then mayor.

Mrs Brown said: “As I come to the end of my time I can look back at my term and it’s been filled with emotions both good and bad, but at no point have I felt like I can’t carry on.

“Of all the events I’ve attended I’ve always felt welcome, whether that’s at RMB Chivenor checking out the memorial gardens or shouting myself hoarse watching the schools' olympics.”

She went on to thank previous mayors, the town council, Val Elkins, her deputy and her chaplain for all their support over the two years.

Mrs Elkins was elected to the town council in 1999 and represents the Pilton ward.

She is a proud Barumite and has worked in nursing for 38 years which was, apart from a two-year stint in Glasgow training to be a midwife, mostly in North Devon.

In her acceptance speech she set out her hopes for the next two years.

She said: “I’ve chosen two charities the first one is Macmillan Cancer Support, which helps people affected by cancer.

“My second charity is North Devon Against Domestic Abuse, perhaps better known as the woman’s refuge.

“The refuge in Barnstaple has had hard times recently with their funding being cut and the service faced with closure.”

“My aims for the year ahead are, of course, to work with communities of my local town. I’m willing to accept suggestions on how we might improve our surroundings.”

Mrs Elkins also committed to visiting one small, lesser known charity a month and report back what she learns to the council.

The deputy mayor was also elected.

Councillor Julie Hunt was elected to the role. Her motto is: "Keep busy then you do not have time to get bored.”

Mrs Hunt was elected to Barnstaple town council in 2005 to represent Forches.

She was also elected to North Devon Council in 2007 to represent the same ward.

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