Outgoing Grantham mayor brands charter trustees ‘a damn disgrace’

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“A damn disgrace” was how the outgoing Mayor of Grantham described three charter trustees at tonight’s traditional mayor-making ceremony.

Councillor Ian Stokes was reflecting on his year as mayor, which has seen him clash with the body of councillors responsible for electing the mayor.

After saying thank you to the trustees for their support, he said: “I must admit, I only had support from four of them and three of them were a damn disgrace and I will leave it at that.”

A retort later came from Coun Mike Cook as he paid tribute to new deputy mayor Coun Ian Selby, saying he will bring a “sense of humour which has been lacking just recently”.

The row did not appear to overshadow the occasion for new mayor Coun Frank Turner, who early on in the proceedings was dragged from the council chamber as is tradition dating back to 1897. After being robed, he returned to the chamber to collect the mayoral chain from Coun Stokes. Before his attack on the trio of charter trustees, Coun Stokes said: “It’s been a wonderful year. the mayoress and I have had an exciting time.” He went on to recall marking the Diamond Jubilee and attending St Paul’s Cathedral for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

It was Coun Bruce Wells who proposed Iam Stokes as deputy mayor, praising his “honesty, integrity, friendship and work he does in he community and as a presenter on Gravity FM”.

Coun Cook followed his speech, calling Coun Selby “loyal, hard working and sympathetic”. A quip as he looked down at a piece of paper about being unable to read Coun Selby’s writing earned laughs. He went on to call him “Mr Grantham”, a man who has Grantham down his centre like a stick of rock.

Before bringing the meeting to a close, Coun Turner announced the charities he will support throughout his year as mayor. They are the Grantham Journal Children’s Fund for its “sterling work” in helping needy children, Belvoir Castle Cricket Trust for encouraging over 6,000 children in the last three years to play the sport, and Grantham Hospice, which is in his ward as councillor.