Stevenage mayors take office

Stevenage mayor Jack Pickersgill

Stevenage mayor Jack Pickersgill - Credit: Pete Stevens

A TOWN has a new mayor and youth mayor following an annual council meeting last night (Wednesday).

Stevenage youth mayor Abasiakara Mboho

Stevenage youth mayor Abasiakara Mboho - Credit: Pete Stevens

Councillor Jack Pickersgill has taken office as Stevenage mayor for 2013/14, replacing Cllr John Lloyd.

Cllr Pickersgill, who has served on Stevenage Borough Council for nine years, will take on the civic role having previously served as secretary of the Stevenage Trades Council.

He has also been a governor for Stevenage schools Heathcote, Peartree, Letchmore Road, Barclay and Longmeadow, as well as North Hertfordshire College.

Cllr Pickersgill revealed his chosen charities for the year on the night, with the Alzheimer’s Association, British Red Cross, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Stevenage Carers Support Group set to benefit.

“It’s a great honour to be undertaking this important civic role in Stevenage over the next 12 months,” he said.

“Representing this town as mayor presents a unique opportunity to meet a variety of people, get involved in community activities and help raise the profile of local charities that are important to me.”

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Cllr Sherma Batson was announced as deputy mayor, and will take over the civic role in May 2014.

The council meeting also saw the second-ever Stevenage youth mayor inaugurated.

Abasiakara Mboho was elected by his peers and will now serve as the public face of the town’s youths for the next 12 months.

The 17-year-old, known as ABK, has been a member of Stevenage Youth Council for two years but his new role will see him in charge of the £3,300 youth budget.

The John Henry Newman School student will also attend council meetings alongside the chairman of the youth council and accompany the mayor at youth-oriented engagements.

“I’m delighted to be youth mayor this year, and look forward to being a voice for the youth of today and providing a good representation for young people within society,” said ABK.

“I’ve got lots of ideas that I would like to develop during the year, but more importantly I want to encourage other young people in Stevenage to support me in voicing their issues and opinions.”

Cllr Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, added: “Young people have a crucial part to play in the future of our town and I’m delighted that ABK has taken the role of youth mayor this year. I know there is a wealth of knowledge, ideas and initiative amongst our young people and I’m looking forward to working more closely with them.”