‘Apprentice’ mayor finally gets the top honour in Gosport

YOU'RE HIRED Cllr Richard Dickson, the new mayor of Gosport.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (121697-3)
YOU'RE HIRED Cllr Richard Dickson, the new mayor of Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs (121697-3)
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AS GOSPORT’S deputy mayor for the last year, Councillor Richard Dickson felt a bit like an apprentice.

So his colleagues made sure he was played into the ceremony at Thorngate Hall yesterday to the tune of Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights – the theme tune to hit BBC show The Apprentice.

Tory Cllr Dickson, who takes over from Cllr Chris Carter, said: ‘It never occurred to me that one day I would be Gosport’s mayor.

‘Cllr Carter and his wife Julia have done a fantastic job and they will be a hard act to follow.

‘I would like to thank Cllr Carter for allowing me to stand in for him sometimes over the last year.

‘It was a wonderful experience – I felt like an apprentice.’

Cllr Dickson was born in London but moved to Gosport in 1970.

The 64-year-old joined the Royal Navy when he was 16, retiring in 1998 as a Warrant Officer Writer.

His mayoress will be his partner, Roberta Irvine.

Cllr Dickson has represented the Christchurch ward of Gosport since 2004.

His chosen charities for the year are the Hampshire Autistic Society, the Beneficial Foundation and various youth groups in Gosport.

Cllr Dickson added: ‘My charities for this year are Gosport youth, including groups and individuals.

‘I would like, for example, to sponsor one or two Gosport youngsters to attend a week’s training on TS Royalist.

‘I would also like to make a donation to Hampshire Autistic Society, because the mayoress’s grandson has this condition, and the Beneficial Foundation, because I have been a trustee of this charity for more than eight years.’

Gosport’s outgoing mayor, Cllr Carter, and his wife Julia have attended more than 500 civic events in and around the town over the last 12 months.

Cllr Carter said: ‘It has been an absolute privilege to serve as mayor in my home town of Gosport. Julia and I have had a fantastic year.

‘We have been able to work so well together as a team.’

Cllr Carter presented Gosport Borough Council with a painting of newly-restored buildings at Royal Clarence Yard.