New Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Lilian Dodd has spoken of her pride at being chosen to become the city’s First Citizen.
The Dresden and Florence ward councillor became the 92nd Lord Mayor of the city following a ceremony at Stoke Town Hall today.
Speaking after being handed the chain of office and civic robes for the first time, Cllr Dodd said: “It’s a very proud and emotional moment for me – I had a lump in my throat just going through the rehearsal earlier in the week. I want to meet as many people as possible during my time as Lord Mayor and of course I’ll be promoting the city at every opportunity.”
Cllr Dodd’s chosen charities for the next 12 months reflect her passion for supporting children and the community and include Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank; Approach Staffordshire, which helps people suffering from dementia; and Equal Chances, a newly-created charity that aims to provide support and enhance lives of children in care and care leavers within Stoke-on-Trent.
Elected in 2015, Cllr Dodd has long been an active member of the community. The 67-year-old has lived in Dresden for 45 years and was the secretary of Dresden Residents’ Association for 30 years. She is also chairman of the 6th Dresden Scout Group, part of the Queens Park Partnership in Longton, a volunteer at the Douglas Macmillan Hospice shop in Hanford and secretary of the North Staffordshire Armed Forces and Veterans Celebration Committee.
A mother-of-one, she worked for Stoke-on-Trent City Council for 26 years, between 1982 and 2009. There, her jobs included working in housing rent, planning and finance.
Cllr Dodd added: “I was born in Stoke-on-Trent and I’m what my dad would have called a true neck-ender. I’ve always been passionate about the community I live in and nothing gives me more pleasure than to see people of all ages enjoying the benefits of social activities that I have helped to organise.
“I’ve seen first-hand the invaluable work my three chosen charities are involved with in the city and I’m pleased to be supporting them for the next 12 months. I’ll be looking to raise as much money as possible.”
Outgoing Lord Mayor Cllr Ross Irving stands down having attended more than 400 engagements and raised £16,175 for his charities. They were the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, the Royal British Legion and the Fire Fighters’ Charity.
Reflecting on his 12 months as Lord Mayor, Cllr Irving said: “I’ve been a councillor for 40 years next year and I thought I knew it all but I have learnt so much over the last 12 months. It’s been an incredible year and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
“There have been so many highlights but I would have to say visiting Lidice for the 75th anniversary of the destruction of the village was a very poignant moment. With the help of people like Alan and Cheryl Gerrard, I really feel like the bond between Stoke-on-Trent and Lidice is as strong as ever and that’s great to see.
“The support I have received from the public has been overwhelming. The last year has shown me that people still really value the office of the Lord Mayor and I’m very thankful for all the kind and generous donations to my chosen charities.”
Cllr Jackie Barnes, who represents Springfields and Trent Vale, has been appointed as the city’s Deputy Lord Mayor.
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