A new Mayor of Hertsmere has been sworn in, though the handover of the chains of office was conducted in an unusual way due to ongoing lockdown restrictions.
Councillor Cynthia Barker was formally appointed in the prestigious role for 2020-21 at Hertsmere Borough Council’s Annual Meeting yesterday (Wednesday, June 24).
Cllr Barker, who takes over from cllr Rabbi Alan Plancey, is the first Philippines-born individual to hold the office in the borough.
Unfortunately, she was denied her full moment in the spotlight because the meeting was held virtually and cllr Barker was unable to take the chains from cllr Plancey in person.
Instead they were delivered before the meeting for her to put on at the appropriate point.
Ordinarily the appointment of a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor is a major milestone in the civic calendar. A ceremony is held at the Civic Offices attended by community leaders, friends and family and other invited guests.
Mayor cllr Barker said: “While it is disappointing that we weren’t able to mark the moment in the usual way, I am still so proud and honoured to take on this role.
“I’m fully aware of the importance of the role of Mayor at this time of uncertainty, fear and sadness for so many.
“The Mayor serves as a figurehead for the whole of the Hertsmere community and can really help to bring people together.
“All that cllr Plancey was able to achieve during his tenure as Mayor under extremely difficult and unprecedented circumstances is amazing.
“I hope to carry on cllr Plancey’s work by celebrating all the wonderful support provided in our borough, particularly by the voluntary sector, and recognising all the brave and remarkable people who have helped fight coronavirus and are now picking up the pieces as we emerge on the other side.”