'˜Magnificent seven' prepare for abseil down Emirates Spinnaker Tower

THEY fulfil their civic duties with pride.

Saturday, 14th January 2017, 6:00 am
From left, Mayor of Eastleigh Councillor Des Scott, East Hampshire District Council chairman Cllr David Ashcroft, Mayor of Southampton Councillor Cathie McEwing, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr David Fuller, Mayor of Winchester Cllr Jane Rutter, and Mayor of Gosport Cllr Lynn Hook

Now mayors representing the Portsmouth region are rallying together and taking on a daunting challenge for their communities.

The group – who have called themselves the ‘Magnificent Seven’ – are preparing to put their fear of heights aside and abseil down the Spinnaker Tower on Sunday, April 30.

The initiative was officially launched yesterday by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, at his parlour in the Guildhall.

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Cllr Fuller came up with the idea and has agreed to take on the 100m drop first before other mayors follow suit.

Cllr Fuller is tackling the feat as part of his year in office to raise £60,000 for the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, NHS Trust Oncology & Haematology, and Help 4 Special Children.

Speaking at the launch, Cllr Fuller said he’d taken inspiration from veteran Spinnaker abseiler ‘Daring’ Doris Long, who remarkably in 2014 did it on her 100th birthday.

He said: ‘I am excited, I have never done this sort of thing before.

‘But what keeps me going is if Doris can do it, then I will have a go at it.’

He added: ‘This is all about charity. I want to raise as much money as possible, not just for my charities, but to help the other mayors with their charities too.

‘Since being lord mayor, I have met hundreds of people in the community and the benefits they bring to Portsmouth are unbelievable.’

Joining Cllr Fuller will be the mayors of Gosport, Havant, Winchester, Eastleigh and Southampton as well as the chair of East Hampshire.

Councillor Lynn Hook, mayor of Gosport, will be raising cash for Kitbags and Berets, Gosport Street Pastors and Marvels & Meltdowns.

Cllr Hook said: ‘If you are able to, as mayor, you should try and raise funds for your own charities and I thought this was a great idea.’