This year’s Haverhill Town Mayor will be a familiar face to many because he has already spent the last 12 months proving he is perfect for the role.
Cllr David Roach’s time as mayor was due to come to an end this week but he has agreed to carry out the role for another year after deputy mayor Cllr Paula Fox, who would usually have been expected to succeed him, was unable to commit to doing it due to personal reasons.
Of being re-elected as mayor on Tuesday, Cllr Roach said it was an ‘absolute privilege’.
He said: “The town council asked me to stay on and do it again and it’s an absolute privilege. I’ve had a fantastic year this year doing it and that’ll carry on as well.”
Cllr Roach, aged 60, took early retirement from Royal Mail following heart surgery around five years ago and now serves Haverhill as a town, borough and, more recently, a county councillor.
He said his council work was a way for him ‘to give a little bit back’ but that attending civic functions as mayor was ‘a totally different thing from being a councillor’.
He explained: “One of the things that always amazes me, which you don’t really know until you do this, is how much is going on and how many groups there are helping people.
“You get to really understand that communities are alive and helping each other – ordinarily you wouldn’t really see that.
“Being mayor you see so much good that’s going on and it gives you an opportunity, not only to see that but to help promote it as well, brilliant groups like Reach which runs the food bank and Synergy Cafe which helps people with dementia.”
Haverhill’s new deputy mayor is Cllr Tony Brown, who decided not to seek re-election to the county council earlier this month but remains committed to his duties as a town and borough councillor.
He said: “It’s a great honour and I really like David as well so hopefully we will work well together and hopefully I can take some of the burden off of him.
“He’s going to be quite busy because he’s an assistant portfolio holder at the borough as well so he’s got his work cut out for him the next year, so I’m glad to be able to help out.”
“I’ve lived in the town from the age of one, back in 1961, so I’ve seen the town change immensely over the years and I’ve been a part of that so it’s a huge honour and another one of life’s challenges,” he added.