Cllr Margaret Marks says it is an ‘amazing privilege’ to have been appointed as the 2017/18 deputy mayor for St Edmundsbury, a role once held by her late husband, Cllr Tim Marks.
Mrs Marks has represented Haverhill West at the borough council since May 2015 and has also served as a Haverhill Town councillor.
Tim, to whom she was married for 33 years, served as the mayor of St Edmundsbury in 2012/13 and as the mayor of Haverhill from 2004-6, experiences that gave Mrs Marks a great insight into what the role entails.
She said: “I thought it was an amazing privilege because I’ve not been on that council for very long.
“I’ve been kind of lucky because Tim was mayor of Haverhill for two years and deputy mayor and then mayor of St Edmundsbury and when you have worked alongside them you earn a certain amount of credibility and you also learn from their behaviour.”
In January 2016 Tim died suddenly at the age of 78. His funeral service at Haverhill’s St Mary’s Church was packed to the rafters with mourners who turned out to pay their respects to him and share the memories of the public service that he gave through so many different guises.
Mrs Marks added: “I know a lot of the councillors and I have done an awful lot of work in Haverhill, even just as a resident, being a member of St John Ambulance for 13 years and setting up the Haverhill Community First Responders.
“I’ve kind of proven that I’m not just a resident who says a lot, I actually get out there and do a lot.
“I feel a bit overwhelmed really because everybody seemed to be really pleased for me.”
Mrs Marks, who is now in her 17th year in Haverhill said she received nominations from councillors across the political parties to become the new deputy mayor - Cllr Terry Clements will be the mayor - and that the Haverhill UKIP group was one of the first to put her name forward.
She said: “They were all so complimentary and lovely, but of course Tim was so popular.
“I think last year it would have been a sympathy vote because everybody liked Tim so much. His legend goes a bit before me, without a doubt.
“I think I’ve earned my spurs now. They’ve watched me working on committees and watched the work i do in Haverhill.
“This is about the role, it’s not about the person. It’s an ambassadorial role and it’s to promote the whole of the borough to people who don’t know the borough.”