It was a dream come true for the new Gosport mayor as she accepted the mayoral chains at a packed-out ceremony.
Tory councillor Lynn Hook was beaming with pride as she took up the role in front of her fellow councillors, family and friends at Thorngate Halls in Bury Road.
The self-employed businesswoman said: ‘It’s been a dream of mine to be mayor for quite some time.
‘It’s a great honour to serve the people of Gosport and I cannot thank the council enough for giving me the opportunity to do so.
Joining her as deputy mayor is long-term friend, Cllr Linda Batty who switched allegiances from Labour to the Tories last month in order to officially second a motion for Cllr Hook to be the new mayor.
After the move was blocked by her own party, Cllr Batty became an independent councillor before joining the Conservatives.
The appointment of the duo marks a historic shift at the council as it is the first time the mayor and deputy mayor roles have been simultaneously held by women.
Speaking of their friendship, Cllr Hook said: ‘I was delighted when Linda was able to second the motion. We’ll be a great team together over the next year.’
Cllr Stephen Philpott put the motion forward for Cllr Hook to be the new mayor.
He said: ‘I’ve known Lynn for years and she is a woman who is at the heart of the Gosport community. She will be able to reach out to people from all walks of life.’
Cllr Hook, who was born in Portsmouth, is a mum-of-one, a grandmother to five and was keen netball player in her school years at Bridgemary School in Wych Lane.
Her three charities for the year are Christian charity Street Pastors, Kitbags and Berets, a community support group for veterans living with Alzheimer’s and parent-led ASD and ADHD family support group Marvels and Meltdowns.
In her first acts as mayor, Cllr Hook, who is married to council leader Mark Hook, presented Gosport fundraiser Les Heyhoe with the Citizen of the Year award and community helper Catherine Wright with the ‘Youth Champion’ award.
She replaces Cllr Keith Farr in the role who wished her the best at the ceremony.