The new Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor David Fullman and Sheriff, David Walker were formally elected at the colourful annual mayor-making ceremony in City Hall this afternoon, Tuesday 23 May.
Following thanks to the outgoing Lord Mayor and Sheriff, Councillor Marion Maxwell and Richard Marks, the new dignitaries donned their robes and chains of office for the first time, as they took up the office of representing the city for the 2017-18 civic year.
The Lord Mayor and Sheriff have decided on a theme for their work during the civic year as: ‘Norwich – the welcoming city’, in recognition of the centuries-long local tradition of welcoming ‘strangers’*.
Looking forward to the year ahead David Fullman said:
“Norwich has a proud history of welcoming people, dating back many centuries. It is because Norwich welcomes people and gives them a safe haven that our city is so rich and vibrant today.
I arrived in Norwich many years ago and have felt part of the city for a long time now. Both David [Walker] and I want to celebrate that feeling of living in a welcoming city during our year in office.”
In line with their theme for the year, the incoming civic heads announced their chosen civic charity appeal as Norwich Integration Partnership, which comprises of New Routes, English+ and The Bridge Plus+.
The three organisations offer services to people from ethnic minority communities, who are often isolated and marginalised, seeking to address the disadvantages and challenges faced by recently settled migrants with complex needs.
Dee Robinson, projects co-ordinator for New Routes said:
“Norwich Integration Partnership is honoured and grateful to have been selected as 2017-18 civic charity; in recognition of the vital work that we do in supporting Norwich’s migrant communities, enabling their engagement as informed and welcomed citizens.”
The new Lord Mayor and Sheriff both come from charities’ backgrounds – David Walker having served as clerk (effectively, chief executive) to Norwich Charitable Trusts until 2016 and David Fullman as chair of both Norwich Consolidated Charities and Anguish’s Educational Foundation.
So, together, they will use their civic year to also explore how the council can work even more effectively with local voluntary organisations.
At a reception after the council’s annual meeting and mayor-making ceremony, the outgoing civic charity, It’s On The Ball, dedicated to testicular cancer, is to be presented with a cheque for £22,843.83 – the total raised through the 2017-18 appeal.
As a mark of respect for those killed and injured in Manchester last night, the ceremony started with a minute’s silence.
*‘Strangers’ is in reference to the Protestant refugees from the Spanish Netherlands who were welcomed to the city between 1560 and 1580. Merchant Thomas Anguish (1536-1617) who served as both mayor and sheriff, struck by the poverty of children he saw in the city, bequeathed in his will a significant sum to be invested in future generations. 2017 marks the 400th anniversary of the bequest which established Anguish Educational Foundation.