Worthing's youngest mayor takes office

Worthing's youngest mayor has been sworn into office at a special ceremony this afternoon (Friday, May 19).

Friday, 19th May 2017, 3:29 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:16 am
Worthing mayor making 2017. Councillor Sean McDonald hands over the duty to Alex Harman, Worthing's youngest mayor. SUS-170519-142244001

Councillor Alex Harman is believed to be the youngest ever borough mayor in the country at the age of 23.

He took over from outgoing mayor, Sean McDonald, at the annual mayor-making ceremony at Worthing Town Hall.

Looking back at his mayoralty, Mr McDonald said: “It has been an extraordinary year of my life and a great honour for me to represent the town as its 100th mayor.

Worthing mayor making 2017. Alex Harman changes into his mayoral robes SUS-170519-142214001

“What I am most proud of is the generosity and general warmth of the people of Worthing. Sometimes we forget that people are very generous and warm and I have counted so many people who work in the voluntary sector, who are the real unsung heroes of my town.”

Mr Harman will attend events and engagements on behalf of the council with his wife, Fran, as the mayoress.

He pledged to promote the work of the council during his year and will raise funds for Worthing Mencap, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Ashdown Centre.

In proposing him as mayor, Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphreys said he was ‘proud’ to support the appointment.

Worthing mayor making 2017. Councillor Sean McDonald, right, hands over the duty to Alex Harman, Worthing's youngest mayor, left. Centre is Mary D'Arcy, director for communities and macebearer for the day. SUS-170519-142232001

He explained how Mr Harman had twice lost elections before winning in Selden ward in 2015.

Mr Humphreys joked that his first election defeat, to previous holder of the youngest mayor title James Doyle, had prompted him to go for the role.

Addressing Mr Doyle, he said: “I looked back at that result when councillor Doyle won Central by a mere eight votes. That left a mark. He knew you were the youngest-ever mayor and he wanted to get his own back!”

Deputy mayor for the coming year will be Broadwater councillor Paul Baker.

Youth mayor Joshua Davies and deputy youth mayor Katie Walters both addressed full council upon acceptance of their chains of office.