Former holiday camp worker becomes new Havant mayor

(l-r) Exiting mayor Marjorie Smallcorn with the new Mayor of Havant Cllr. Leah Turner.''Picture: Sarah Standing (150865-89)
(l-r) Exiting mayor Marjorie Smallcorn with the new Mayor of Havant Cllr. Leah Turner.''Picture: Sarah Standing (150865-89)

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SHE only came to Hayling originally to work for one summer, but now Leah Turner has been named the mayor of the borough.

Councillor Turner, who represents Hayling East, was handed Havant Borough Council’s mayoral chains at a ceremony at The Plaza yesterday.

And she plans to use her position to do as much as possible for local good causes.

Cllr Turner said: ‘It really was the most wonderful celebration.

‘I was honoured to have several mayors, the deputy lord lieutenant of Hampshire and representatives from 12 and 16 Regiment as well as 47 Regiment who are now based in Salisbury.

‘I have chosen not to raise money for national charities because what I make will be small fry to them but will make a big difference to local causes.

‘It will go into a community chest and will be distributed by the Havant and Hayling Lions Club. That way it will go straight to the places that need it most.’

Cllr Turner has lived on Hayling since 1978 when she arrived to work a summer season at the holiday camps.

She said: ‘I loved the area so much that I stayed at the end of that season.

‘I have always joked that I couldn’t leave Hayling because I forgot where the bridge was.’

More recently she set up her own taxi firm catering for women and children only. She has been a councillor since 2010.

‘I can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute of it,’ said Cllr Turner.

‘It has given me the opportunity of, to use an old expression, giving something back to the community I have grown to love.’

Cllr Turner is one of the founders of the Hayling 4 St George event held each summer in Eastoke Plaza to honour England’s patron saint, and the country’s troops.

And she was also instrumental in setting up the Play Parks for Hayling project.

Cllr Turner will be accompanied on her mayoral visits by partner Andy Cousins.

She takes over from Marjorie Smallcorn who was deselected by the Conservative Party and, despite standing as an independent candidate, did not manage to hold on to her seat. She was thanked for all her hard work at the mayor-making ceremony.