New Mayor of Skegness 'can't wait to put on chain and get out there'

The new Mayor of Skegness says he can't wait to put on his chain of office and once again get involved with the community.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Trevor Burnham with the Mayoress, Jane.
Mayor of Skegness Coun Trevor Burnham with the Mayoress, Jane.

Coun Trevor Burnham was invested during last week's annual Town Council meeting.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions the meeting was held on zoom, without the usual ceremony associated with the occasion.

There was no official handover or speeches and special meal afterwards with invited guests.

Deputy Mayor - Coun Billy Brookes

Presentations were deferred until they are able to meet in person.

The chain of office, which had been delivered to his home earlier, was put around Coun Burnham's neck by his wife, the new Mayoress Jane Burnham. Coun Burnham returned the honour for his Mayoress.

"It wasn't an enjoyable night - we had two thunderstorms during the meeting and lost signal which didn't help," Coun Burnham recalled.

"Afterwards I went for a walk around town and suddenly thought 'I'm the number one - how did that happen?'

"I'm just a 'poor boy from Coventry' who cares about the community."

Coun Burnham and Jane moved to Skegness in 2005 after spending the weekend in the resort.

"We bought some drinks and sat on a bench and fell asleep," recalled Coun Burnham, who was an ambulanceman in Coventry before they moved to the resort. "We went back to the hotel and then, at the same time, suddenly said, 'I'd like to move here'.

"We just packed everything up in Coventry and moved here - and have never regretted it."

Coun Burnham immediately signed up as a LIVES First Responder on arriving in Skegness but is now semi-retired. Jane works at The View cafe in Winthorpe.

He became a councillor in 2014 and was due to be Deputy Mayor this year before the sad death of Councillor Jim Carpenter earlier this year.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet that I am Mayor - I can't wait to put my chain on and get out there to do what I can to help the community," he said.

Supporting Coun Burnham as Deputy Mayor will be Coun Billy Brookes, who will make history as the town's youngest Mayor when he takes over next year aged 21 - following in the footsteps of his father, former Mayor Coun Danny Brookes.

Billy was in the sixth form at Skegness Academy when he was first elected on to Skegness Town Council and East Lindsey District Council two years ago.

In spite of losing his bid for the Skegness South seat in last week's Lincolnshire County Council elections, he said he had enjoyed the experience and reaching out to more of the community.

As well as being a councillor, he is now a volunteer with the RNLI in Skegness.

"I'm looking forward to supporting Trevor in his Mayoral duties and helping in the community where I can," said Coun Brookes.

"I have really enjoyed being on both the town council and the district council and have learned a lot over the past two years.

"In particularly I have enjoyed engaging with younger members of the community through the electoral process.

"I chose not to continue with further education but go into the family business.

"I want to encourage more young people to get involved in politics and show them that if they want something enough they can achieve it."

The 'handover' was the end of a historic two years for retiring Mayor Coun Mark Dannatt, who stepped down as the first councillor to hold the office for two years due to the Covid-19 restrictions that prevented the handover last year.

At the zoom meeting, he thanked his colleagues for their support but was unable to make the usual speech as it was ahead of the LCC elections.

Afterwards, and on behalf of his Mayoress Louise Saxon, he said: "We want to thank everyone who has supported us over the last two years.

"It’s been a challenging time during a pandemic but we can tell you that although we haven’t been able to hold any events for the last 17 months, we raised £6,100 to be divided equally between my two charities - the local St Barnabas Hospice and Stand Up To Cancer.

"I will now support Trevor Burnham and Jane Burnham and help raise money for their charities.

"I thank you all and I will continue my fight for Skegness and its residents."