The new Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate was officially appointed yesterday (Monday 23 May) at Harrogate Borough Council’s Annual Meeting, which was held at the Royal Hall in Harrogate.
The traditional Mayor Making ceremony saw Councillor Nick Brown formerly receive the Chains of Office from outgoing mayor, Councillor Nigel Simms. Councillor Brown’s wife, Linda, has become Mayoress.
During Nick’s professional career he was the Managing Director of his family business, the Brown and White Group of companies (Ford Main Dealers in West Yorkshire) and, after its takeover, he later joined the Main Board of quoted Trimoco Plc as a Director. During his business career, he was a former UK Vice Chair of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and a former member of the Council of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a member of Wetherby Rural District Council and the Leeds City Council between 1970 and 1978.
He continues to have a very active professional life as a semi-retired businessman, serving as a local councillor on Harrogate Borough Council and with a number of charitable organisations where he is involved with fundraising and is currently self employed as a Business and Arts Fundraising Consultant. His charitable works include his role as the founding Chairman of the Yorkshire Regional Committee of the Wooden Spoon Society (the national charity of Rugby Union, supporting disadvantaged children and young people). Until recently, he was a Trustee of the Leeds International Piano Competition, a member of the Voluntary Fundraising Committee of Opera North and a member of the Country Landowners Association (CLA) Local Game Fair Committee.
In 2008, Nick was elected to Harrogate Borough Council to represent the Newby Ward and has held the office of Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Rural Affairs, Chair of Harrogate and District Community Safety Partnership and was Chair and Champion of Harrogate Borough Council’s Rural Members Advisory Group. He also holds current positions as an Honorary Yorkshire Region Life President of The Wooden Spoon Society, Board Member of Touchstone Leeds (the Leeds based mental health charity), Board Member of the Northern Aldborough Festival, Chair of the Friends of the Leeds International Piano Competition and is a Council Member for The Yorkshire Agricultural Society. He is also the current Chair of the Boroughbridge Safer Neighbourhood Group.
Nick enjoys shooting, fishing and all country pursuits together with gardening and golf. He also has an eclectic taste in jazz, soul, opera and classical music and is a keen amateur choral singer with the Harrogate Choral Society. He regularly supports St Mary and All Saints church in Cundall.
The new mayor, who is looking forward to representing the district said:
I would like to thank Nigel Simms who has performed the task of mayor over the last twelve months with hard work, considerable humour and bonhomie, he will be a hard act to follow. I am looking forward to continuing the civic tradition and following his splendid example.
I have several objectives I have set myself as mayor. Firstly, I would very much like to champion, support and promote the economy of the borough. It is important that good relations exist between local government and business so that we can work together in partnership to ensure we have a successful economy.
My second objective is to encourage and promote philanthropy from within the ranks of individuals, local businesses or professions y towards local charitable organisations. My third objective relates to the arts, which strongly enrich the quality of life in a community. My final objective is to foster greater unity across the borough, as by working closely together we can make all parts of the borough a better and more prosperous place to live.
I am thoroughly looking forward to the next twelve months and representing the people of the Harrogate district.
Each year, the Mayor of the Borough has the opportunity to support their own choice of charities. The new mayor’s chosen charities are St Michael’s Hospice, Harrogate Homeless Project, Ripon Cathedral Concert Society, Harrogate Choral Society and the Northern Aldborough Festival.
Dignitaries in attendance included Harrogate Borough Council members; the Mayors of Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge, Boroughbridge and Ripon; Bill Cowling, Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire; and John Furness, High Sheriff.
At the annual meeting, Councillor Christine Ryder became Deputy Mayor and and her husband Chris became Deputy Mayor’s consort.
Outgoing Mayor, Councillor Nigel Simms, who has attended over 500 official functions during his time in office said:
I have absolutely enjoyed being mayor over the last 12 months, it has been a real honour and privilege. I have attended a wide range of different event and occasions which have really been one highlight after another. I am sure that Councillor Brown will enjoy every single minute as the new Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate.