Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Copeland's new mayor takes up chains of office

Copeland's new mayor Geoff Garrity has spoken of his “pride and honour” at becoming the borough’s first citizen.

Geoff Garrity photo
Mayor of Copeland Geoff Garrity and wife Sandra

Mr Garrity, 72, was sworn in, receiving the robes of office from previous mayor Peter Tyson.

A Whitehaven man born and bred, the Labour councillor says he is looking forward to a memorable year.

“I am honoured to be named the mayor of Copeland,” said Mr Garrity, whose wife Sandra becomes mayoress.

“I will be proud to serve the people of Copeland, and look forward to working with people and organisations from right across the borough.”

Mr Garrity’s year in office promises to be a busy one. It starts this week with his attendance at other mayor-making ceremonies across the county, and he’ll attend the Hell on the Harbourside charity obstacle course in Whitehaven on Sunday.

On Monday, he’ll be bestowed the honour of receiving a salute from the armed forces in Whitehaven’s prestigious Homecoming Parade.

“It’s a hectic first week, but to be the mayor when Whitehaven hosts the Homecoming Parade will be really memorable.

“I’ll be involved in the inspection at the Civic Hall on the day, and then judging the best dressed shop window in town.”

Mr Garrity spent his working life at Cross Paperware at Cleator for over a decade, and worked for 20 years on process at Albright & Wilson, and was active in the GMB union on site.

He was elected to Copeland council in 2006, winning a by-election to fill the Hensingham seat vacated by Jamie Reed when he became Copeland’s MP.

Since then, he’s been an active councillor, speaking out on issues affecting his constituents, especially relating to the West Cumberland Hospital. He’s chair of the committee working to rebuild the hospital, and is vice-chair of the council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee.

“My wife, Sandra, worked at the hospital for 30 years so there’s the background knowledge.

“That’s why I stood for the council, because I felt I could help people. It’s taken over my life – you never get any time to yourself – but I’ve loved every minute of it.”

The couple have been married for 46 years and have a son, three grandchildren and one great grandson. His chosen charities for the mayoral year are The Alzheimer’s Society and Hospice at Home West Cumbria.


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