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Sutton is the greatest borough in London, says new mayor Arthur Hookway
The new mayor has described Sutton as the greatest borough in London and has pledged to celebrate community spirit in his time in office.
Councillor Arthur Hookway is new to Sutton Council after winning a seat in last month’s elections but was made the borough’s first citizen at a meeting on Monday.
Despite his lack of experience on the council, Coun Hookway said his work as the borough’s fire commander between 2001 and 2004as well as 15 years living in Worcester Park has helped him fall in love with the area.
Coun Hookway was presented with the mayoral chains in Sutton Council’s Europa Gallery on Monday.
During his acceptance speech, he said: "It is with great delight that I stand here today as your mayor.
"It is an absolute privilege to be Sutton's first citizen and I would like start by thanking you for this great honour.
"Like everyone in this room, my motivation has always been to contribute to the area I live in and encourage others to do the same.
"It is that ethos of community spirit that I want to celebrate and nurture during my term as mayor.
The past three weeks have certainly been a whirlwind. Not only was it an honour to be elected as a councillor but being chosen as Sutton’s Mayor is truly humbling."
Coun Hookway also revealed that he will be supporting Sutton Seniors Forum and SMILE - Sutton Mentoring and Independent Leisure Experiences – during his time in office.
Each year the mayor raises money for charity during his or her term. Last year Councillor Sean Brennan raised £27,000 for Sutton Mental Health Foundation.
Coun Hookway also paid tribute to his predecessor. He said: "Sean and his deputy mayor Sue Stears have given years of service to Sutton and they are an incredibly hard act for me and the deputy mayor to follow. "
Coun Hookway spent 30 years in the fire service and was the borough’s fire commander from 2001 to 2004.
When he retired he joined Worcester Park Residents’ Association and this, along with his experiences with the local authority during his time with the fire brigade, made him want to stand on the council.
Coun Hookway was given a round of applause when he wrapped up his speech by saying: "Sutton is simply the best borough to live in, in the greatest city in the world, and I can't wait to get to work."
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