RETIRED teacher Marjorie Smallcorn has become the 40th mayor of Havant.
Councillor Smallcorn, who has represented Cowplain for the past 12 years, was passed the mayoral chains by outgoing mayor Councillor Paul Buckley in the packed council chamber at The Plaza yesterday.
As a treat for the audience while they exchanged robes, Cllr Smallcorn’s 17-year-old granddaughter Emma Read belted out show tunes.
The Portsmouth Grammar School pupil performed songs from Cabaret, Funny Girl and Les Miserables and was given a standing ovation at the end.
Her proud grandmother said: ‘It was wonderful to have Emma sing at my mayor-making. She is so talented.
‘I’m so honoured to have been elected to this position and I look forward to representing the borough over the year to come.’
The charities the mayor will be supporting during her year in office are Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association – also known as Footprints – The Reynauds and Scleroderma Association and The Rowans Hospice.
Cllr Smallcorn explained the reasons behind her choice: ‘Reynauds and scleroderma are not well known but it is a charity I’m particularly interested in because I have those.
‘It can be a life-threatening condition but hopefully, in my case, it isn’t.’
She has put together a cook-book full of tried and tested recipes from local people which will be sold throughout the year to raise money for the appeal.
Over the previous 12 months Cllr Paul Buckley raised more than £15,000 for his chosen charities – Combat Stress, Relate and Stroke Association.
The new leader of the council was also sworn in.
Councillor Mike Cheshire, who represents Hart Plain, was voted in last month to replace Councillor Tony Briggs after five years in the role.
Cllr Cheshire said: ‘He has steered us through some very stormy waters to calmer seas. He has transformed us into a 21st century borough.’