A NEW councillor has been named the 100th mayor of Southend-on-Sea.

Labour councillor Margaret Borton has served on the council for more than 15 years and has now been handed the mayoral chains.

During a meeting on Thursday, councillor John Lamb handed over the chains during a mayor making ceremony.

The event was attended by a small number of council officials, family members and friends, and live streamed to the public, due to Covid-19 health and safety measures.

In her acceptance speech, Mrs Borton thanked the outgoing mayor and his wife Pat, and explained her great admiration and pleasure at being elected to the role.

She also congratulated councillor Kevin Robinson after being elected as deputy mayor.

She said: “I would like to thank you all for being here today on this special occasion whether you are here physically or watching this ceremony virtually.

"I am privileged to be in the position of being the 100th Mayor of Southend.

“I am immensely proud to have been elected as your Mayor and will do my very best to uphold the fine traditions of the Mayoralty of Southend on Sea and be an effective ambassador for the Borough.

“Reverend Paul Mackay of St Mary’s Church, Prittlewell has graciously agreed to be my Chaplain for my mayoral year.

"My thanks to him and his team for allowing us the honour of using St Mary’s as the Civic Church for the year.

“My chosen charities for my Mayoral year are Little Heroes ASD Support group and Trust Links.

"I will also be championing the Southend Emergency Fund which was set up in response to the Covid pandemic.”

Echo: Mayor Margaret Borton and Deputy Mayor Kevin Robinson (Southend Borough Council)Mayor Margaret Borton and Deputy Mayor Kevin Robinson (Southend Borough Council)

Numerous councillors paid tribute to both Mrs Borton and Mr Lamb with speeches.

Mr Lamb also spoke and looked back on a successful two years as Mayor, with former councillor, Mark Flewitt serving as his deputy.

He served as mayor for two years, rather than one, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “What a period we have had, with such a dramatic change brought about by the coronavirus back in 2020, which caused myself to remain Southend’s 99th Mayor until today; what an honour this has been to both myself and the mayoress.

“In the first year my chosen charity, being a sailor and a lover of the sea, was Southend Lifeboat Station, one of the busiest stations in the Country.

"The Covid-19 pandemic unfortunately impacted on all social, work and charity events but we still achieved a total of £21,000, to which I thank all those who supported the charity events.

“In my second year, I decided to help a new Southend charity helping men with prostate cancer to be identified sooner, and receive less intrusive treatment much earlier creating a much earlier remission.

"So far we have raised over £3,000 and fund raising continues and hopefully we can increase that amount to at least £7-10,000; all contributions are gratefully received.

“During my mayoralty I have carried out 376 official engagements which included 278 Events in support of charities, veterans organisations, and faith groups.

“My wife and I feel very proud to have represented our town and we have tried to ensure that we set an example to all our citizens of all cultures and backgrounds and been respectful of their beliefs and religions and we wish the new mayor every success during her mayoralty.”