Hunt for new Gosport mayor is on after pub ban shame

Former Gosport mayor and lady mayoress Wayne Ronayne and Paula Carter
Former Gosport mayor and lady mayoress Wayne Ronayne and Paula Carter
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A NEW mayor is due to take the reins after a councillor stepped down from the role when he was given a pub ban.

But with just days left until the vote on Wednesday, it’s not clear who will take up the top civic role in Gosport.

It comes as Tory Councillor Wayne Ronayne stepped down from being First Citizen after he was put on Pub Watch for six months following an alleged incident on the day of his inauguration.

Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, told The News the Conservatives were due to hold a meeting last night and will also meet on Monday to go through nominations from their party.

He said other parties could also nominate one of their own councillors for the job.

Cllr Hook said: ‘It probably won’t be known until next week. It’s not something that we’ve ever had to do before.

‘In the interests of chairing council meetings it’s important that we elect someone as quickly as possible.’

He said a mayor can expect to attend around 400 events each year and deciding to offer to take up the role is not a light decision.

Cllr Hook added he will be moving positions around on the council’s boards as he believes Cllr Ronayne is a valuable asset to the council.

Cllr Ronayne was allegedly involved in an incident at Wetherspoons pub The Star in High Street, Gosport on June 4. As revealed in The News, the ban was given after bar staff asked the mayor’s group to leave four times.

The mayoress, Paula Carter, allegedly told staff they could have the pub closed.

CCTV shows her then trying to get into Nelsons bar, a few yards away, where she allegedly repeated the claims.

On Monday – just 40 days after taking office – Cllr Ronayne stepped down.

The deputy mayor, Labour’s Keith Farr, has been attending civic events as the borough has been left without a mayor.

Former mayor Cllr John Beavis said he hasn’t been asked to take up the chains.

A vote is due on Wednesday evening.