THE NEW mayor of Stratford is hoping a pandemic won’t scupper her year this time around.
Coun Kate Rolfe was elected and received the mayoral chain at the annual Mayor Making Ceremony at Stratford Town Hall.
Kate, who is the town’s 478th mayor, announced her three charities for the year would be Stratford Foodbank, Street Arts Project and the new Stratford Youth Collective, which comprises of Lifespace Trust, Escape Arts, Warwickshire Pride, ILEAP Charity, and New Meaning Warwickshire.
And this is Kate’s second attempt at mayor. She was appointed to the role back in 2019 but was unable to complete the year due to the pandemic.
Coun Jason Fojtik was appointed deputy mayor.
Kate thanked everyone who came to wish her well and is looking forward to supporting local businesses, organisations and residents during her year.
Kate takes over from out-going mayor Coun Gill Cleeve who said the last 12 months had been the fastest of her life.
She continued: “I knew that I was in for a hectic year, but it has been extraordinary. Giles and I have not been at a loss for something to do and unfortunately the state of our garden and house demonstrates this.
“During my tenure I have attended over 250 events and that’s not including all the meetings I’m required to attend as mayor. I have opened the Mop and turned on Christmas Lights, attended church services, awards evenings, school assemblies, given prizes, judged competitions, delivered Coronation medallions, given interviews, attended shows, welcomed and entertained visiting dignitaries, visited our hospital, nursing homes and care homes, attended an Ice Hockey match, treaded the boards at the RSC, opened new businesses, organised fundraisers, given talks, attended civic services and dinners, made speeches, and launched our first ever Youth Awards.
“Throughout all this, I have been supported by my husband and consort Giles. He has been my rock and I could not have done, what I’ve done this year without him.”
Gill added: “Since moving to Stratford, I have been an active member of the community, but being mayor has given me a much greater knowledge and understanding of our magnificent and historical town and the people who live here. I have met so many people, from three days old to 103-years-old and they are all the reason this town is so special – they are truly the backbone of Stratford.”