The new Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate was officially appointed yesterday (Monday 18 May) at Harrogate Borough Council’s Annual Meeting, which was held at the Royal Hall in Harrogate.
The traditional Mayor Making ceremony saw Councillor Nigel Simms formerly receive the Chains of Office from outgoing mayor, Councillor Jim Clark. Councillor Simms wife, Lynn, has become Mayoress.
Councillor Simms was born in Masham in 1953. Following his education in Masham and Bedale, he became an apprentice at J Hodgson (Masham) Limited, a joinery contracting company. Before completing his apprenticeship, Councillor Simms became a Partner in the firm, which is still a thriving and well respected local company.
In 1999 Councillor Simms was elected to Harrogate Borough Council to represent the Mashamshire Ward and became a Masham Parish councillor – positions he continues to hold to this day.
During his time at Harrogate Borough Council he has served on a number of committees and has held the position of Chair of the Planning Committee. He is also Chair of the Nidderdale Area of Natural Beauty’s Joint Advisory Committee. In 2014/15, he served as Deputy Mayor to Councillor Jim Clark.
Outside of politics Councillor Simms enjoys sailing and has been involved with the Ocean Youth Club Charity. He is also involved with the Four and Twenty of Masham, a charity offering financial assistance to apprentices. He is a keen cyclist and is active in his local church, with responsibility amongst other things for ringing the church bells. Councillor Simms has been married to Lynn for 30 years and the couple have two adult children.
Councillor Simms said: I consider it a great honour to be mayor of this beautiful and diverse district and am very much looking forward to representing the council and everyone in the Harrogate district throughout my mayoral year.
Dignitaries in attendance included Harrogate Borough Council members; the Mayors of Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge and Ripon; Mrs Judith Thomas MBE JP DL, Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire; and Councillor Tim Swales, Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council.
At the annual meeting, Councillor Jenny Travena became Deputy Mayor and and her sister, Liz Mann became Deputy Mayor’s consort.
The outgoing Mayor, Councillor Jim Clark, has attended over 500 official functions during his time in office.
Cllr Clark said: It has been wonderful to serve as Mayor over the last year with events such as the Tour de France and the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival coming to the district, as well as the moving commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1 and the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
The Mayoress and I have met so many wonderful people and attended so many interesting events during our time in office, and we were particularly delighted to welcome many overseas visitors to our district.
We certainly live in an exceptional and unique district and we wish the new Mayor and Mayoress every good fortune in the year ahead.