Yarmouth boy proud to be new mayor
Laura Bagshaw AS the new mayor took a ride on Great Yarmouth's big wheel, councillor Tony Smith said the experience mirrored his feeling of being on top of the world as the borough's new civic leader.
AS the new mayor took a ride on Great Yarmouth's big wheel, councillor Tony Smith said the experience mirrored his feeling of being on top of the world as the borough's new civic leader.
Mr Smith was elected into office on Monday night at a special ceremony at the Town Hall, watched by proud friends and family, including wife - and now mayoress - Sara.
On Tuesday, the couple enjoyed their first outing in their official roles for a trip on the seafront big wheel.
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Themes for his mayoral year are sport and heritage and Mr Smith, 61, said he is looking forward to meeting as many of the borough's residents as possible.
He said: “It's all been a bit surreal but I feel very honoured and proud to be mayor. I'm a Yarmouth boy, so this is an important place for me and I will represent the borough the best I can.”
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Mr Smith, a Conservative borough councillor for 11 years, has pledged to support two charities during his mayoral year - Kingfisher Boxing Club and St Nicholas' Church Preservation Trust.
The boxing club has linked with Norfolk Police to get youngsters involved in sport in order to prevent them getting involved in crime, a scheme Mr Smith described as “worthwhile” and said he hoped to raise the club's profile.
Mr Smith said the ability of sport to instil discipline in young people should not be under estimated.
“As a youngster I loved sport and while there is provision in the borough for youth football it has been sad to see the decline in above 18's football.”
As a member of the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, Mr Smith has been involved in several projects to save important historic buildings in the borough including the Tower Curing Works, now the award-winning Time and Tide Museum.
“During the 1960s a beautiful house on the quayside was pulled down, it was just lost, and it's things like this that the trust can avoid.
“For me, the flagship building in the borough is St Nicholas' Church and as an old building it needs a lot of work to maintain it,” said Mr Smith, who said he would decide on what other charities to support during his year in office.
The former accountant was elected to the borough council in Caister North in May 1998 and together with his wife runs Sara's Tearoom on Yarmouth seafront.
The couple have two sons, Daniel and Matthew, and two grandchildren, Isabella and Alex.
Councillor Terry Easter and his wife Jenny were elected as deputy mayor and mayoress for the coming year.