Councillor Hazel Lynskey (Con) was sworn into office today at Scarborough Town Hall for her second term as the borough’s first citizen, having donned the chains in 2010/11.
In her commencement speech to councillors she said the new council must learn the lessons of May’s local elections, where the Conservatives lost power and a new minority Labour administration, backed by Greens and Independents, took control.
Cllr Lynskey said that politics had become divisive and called for all parties to work together for the good of the borough and its people.
She said: “The Mayor is apolitical. I should not really be speaking about politics, and I won’t mention Brexit, but if we want to move forward I believe that we need to know what’s happened in the past.
“Politics over the last few years has been horrendous, it has divided countries, it has divided towns, it has divided families and it has divided parties. It is one of those things that takes some understanding, sometimes when we are here we ask ourselves ‘what are we doing here?’
“I believe in the party, I believe in democracy, I believe in a credible opposition but I also believe that sometimes we have to forget the colour of our politics and vote for what is best for the borough.
“People in the country are disillusioned with politics, the people of Scarborough are disillusioned with the council, it’s unfortunate, but we must regain their trust. We will never please all of the people all of the time but we must try.
“We have a new leader, we have a new cabinet as yet unchallenged, I like that, we have 20 new councillors who will take time to settle in.
“For this reason I have chosen the theme of the year as communication, reaching out. We must do this, we must.
“We can do this. If we want to move on we must reach out, build bridges, we have to listen and we have to learn. We can only do this if we do it together.”
Cllr Lynskey, who will be supported in her year as Mayor by her son, Michael, also said that the appointment of a new chief executive, Michael Greene, who will start work in August, presented a “new beginning” for the authority.
Her fellow Conservative Cllr Roberta Swiers was sworn in as Deputy Mayor during today’s meeting.
Neither outgoing Mayor Joe Plant nor outgoing Deputy Mayor Dilys Cluer stood for re-election to the council in May.