Mayor pays tribute to ‘role model’ Margaret

Mayor pays tribute to ‘role model’ Margaret

MIRFIELD councillor Martyn Bolt handed over the reins as Mayor of Kirklees this week – and immediately paid tribute to one of his predecessors.

Coun Bolt said that Margaret Bates, a former councillor who represented Birstall & Birkenshaw and Liversedge & Gomersal and was Mayor in 2002/03, was his role model, especially for council meetings.

Coun Bolt said: “She was the voice of conscience I had in my mind. Margaret performed the role with great dignity.

“As a result I hope colleagues on the council will say that I was firm but fair in letting them have a debate.

“If they wanted to let off steam, fine, but there’s a line you don’t cross and I enforced that.”

Coun Bolt raised cash that for the first time was given straight to the civic leader’s chosen charity.

It meant the One Community Foundation was able to make donations during Coun Bolt’s term of office.

A girl guides group in Liversedge was among those to benefit, with £200 towards venue costs.

Coun Bolt said: “The council is now less able to fund things like this through area committees. That’s where the One Community Foundation comes in. I think they fill that gap in society.

“Small groups need a little help with funding that can make a big difference to them and their community.

“The grant to the guiding group, for example, paid their accommodation costs for the whole year.”

Coun Ken Smith takes over as Mayor with Dewsbury councillor Paul Kane as his deputy.

Coun Bolt, who attended more than 350 civic engagements, did not take the Mayoral allowance pay rise he was entitled to. He said: “It would have been inappropriate when many people are having to accept a wage freeze.”

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