New mayor says he will help ‘put Portsmouth on the map’
HELPING to 'put Portsmouth on the map' is a top priority of newly-appointed Lord Mayor David Fuller who believes 2019 will be an important year for the city.
Today the Lib Dem councillor was elected Lord Mayor for the second time since 2016 having offered to stand in as deputy last year when candidate Jennie Brent had to unexpectedly pull out.
Cllr Fuller said it was a 'great honour' to be returning to the position once again alongside his sister Lady Mayoress Leza Tremorin. 'To be appointed once as mayor is amazing,' he said.
'And a second time is such a great honour. I think we were popular last time because we were friendly and approachable. I want to continue to be like that.'
For Cllr Fuller, who grew up and lives in Fratton, the year ahead was an exciting prospect. He said: 'This is such an important year for Portsmouth with the D-Day 75 commemorations. I think what we are doing will really put Portsmouth on the map.'
Confirmed to attend the commemorations on June 5 are the Queen, the Prime Minister Theresa May and controversial US President Donald Trump who some fear will 'take away' from the focus of the day.
Cllr Fuller added: 'Whatever anybody thinks about certain people coming to D-Day 75, they need to think what the event will do for the city's economy. It will also really showcase Portsmouth.'
The new Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress are also hoping to raise as much money as possible for charities around Portsmouth.
'Instead of raising money for just one or a few charities or organisations we hope to be able to give £1,000 each to lots of different groups in the city,' Cllr Fuller said.
'It will be known as the Portsmouth Community Chest Appeal. We have about 30 events planned for the coming year that will help raise funds. And already today we've had three companies pledge a total of £5,500.
'I can't believe we're only a day in and we've already raised that much.'
Cllr Fuller's will be assisted by new Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Ben Dowling who, at 25 years old, is probably the youngest deputy mayor in Portsmouth's history.
The Milton councillor and Lib Dem said he would use this to encourage young people to get involved in politics. 'I am going to make a real effort on my part to go out and meet young people all over the city,' he said.
'I was encouraged by my friends, teachers and local leaders to engage with the council and I hope I can have that same influence for others.'
Cllr Fuller took the chains from Tory Councillor Lee Mason who served as Lord Mayor since May 2018.
Part of Cllr Mason's pledge as Lord Mayor was to take part in his Small Changes, Big Difference campaign which aimed to get Portsmouth walking a total of a million miles and losing one million pounds in weight.
In his final speech as Lord Mayor Cllr Mason said: 'We didn't get to a million miles as a city. But it is great that we are trying to keep our kids fit and active.'