Army veteran Labour Cllr becomes Rugby's new mayor

Cllr Mahoney giving his first speech as mayor.
Cllr Mahoney giving his first speech as mayor.

Rugby's new mayor, an Army veteran and Labour Cllr, said the theme for his mayoral year will be service.

Cllr Tom Mahoney has replaced Cllr Belinda Garcia as Rugby’s mayor and Cllr Bill Lewis is the new deputy.

Cllr Bill Lewis giving his first speech as deputy mayor.

Cllr Bill Lewis giving his first speech as deputy mayor.

Both were appointed by a unanimous vote at Rugby’s annual council meeting, held on Thursday May 17.

In his first speech as mayor, the Labour Cllr and veteran of the Queen's Own Hussars said: “When I joined the Army and went overseas, Rugby was a place I was proud to tell people I call home. I see it as a great honour to be the first citizen of the borough."

Cllr Mahoney has chosen armed forces charity SSAFA and Coventry and Warwickshire Mind as the mayor’s charities for 2018 to 2019.

He said: “My theme for the year will be service. Those who serve our country and communities can be taken for granted. They often serve quietly in the background only to be noticed when something disrupts the service they give and they become a target for complaint.

“It is my intention through my mayoral year to visit as many of these unsung heroes of our community as possible and offer them a simple thank-you on behalf of the borough in the form of a certificate.”

Cllr Mahoney said he learned about what it takes to lead people by watching a Colonel in his unit.

He told the Colonel, who was present for the meeting, "I hope I pass the test."

During his first speech as deputy, Lib Dem Cllr Bill Lewis spoke a phrase in Welsh before translating it to: “Thank you very much for choosing me to be deputy mayor.”

The now former mayor, Cllr Belinda Garcia, was unanimously thanked for her work during the last year.

Anyone interested in supporting the Mayor's charities can call 01788 533523 or email the.mayor@rugby.gov.uk

For more information on SSAFA, visit www.ssafa.org.uk

For more information on Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, visit www.cwmind.org.uk