Independent councillor elected as new mayor for Havant

SHE has vowed to serve the borough with pride and dignity over the next year.

Wednesday, 10th May 2017, 8:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th May 2017, 9:30 am
Outgoing mayor Cllr Faith Ponsonby (left) with the new Mayor of Havant, Cllr Elaine Shimbart Picture: Malcolm Wells (170510-7320)

Following a stirring reception, Councillor Elaine Shimbart was elected Havant’s mayor yesterday at The Plaza.

The independent borough councillor for Hart Plain replaces Lib Democrat Cllr Faith Ponsonby in the role, with Tory councillor Peter Wade elected as the deputy.

Cllr Shimbart said: ‘I’m very proud and honoured to have been elected mayor for the borough and I’m much looking forward to the year ahead.

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‘I had a good insight in my time as deputy to Faith, who was a wonderful mayor and from whom I learned so much.

‘She worked hard for the community during her time and will be a hard act to follow, but I shall try my best.’

Cllr Shimbart and her husband, fellow borough councillor Gerald – who is to be her consort – had previously feared that the ruling Conservative group would elect a new candidate for mayor after the duo departed the party last summer.

But her election passed without dispute as all but one councillor – Tory member Paul Buckley abstained – voted for Cllr Shimbart.

Cllr Yvonne Weeks proposed that Cllr Shimbart be Havant’s new mayor.

She said in a speech: ‘I have no doubt that she will serve with integrity, pride and dignity.’

Tributes were paid to Cllr Ponsonby’s tenure as mayor with the Lib Dem councillor attending 330 formal and 70 informal engagements during the past year.

Cllr Michael Cheshire, the council’s leader said: ‘Faith has been a fantastic mayor who lit up the lives of many across the borough.’

Home Start Havant, which provides support for families across the borough, and learning disability charity Fitzroy were chosen as Cllr Shimbart’s charities for her mayoral year.

Cllr Shimbart was born on the Isle of Wight before her parents moved to Portsmouth. She has worked in various clerical positions and previously served as a city councillor on Portsmouth City Council before she moved to Cowplain in 2004.

Cllr Shimbart was elected as a Tory councillor on the borough council in 2006.