Penzance elects new mayor and celebrates community achievements

This year’s annual mayor-choosing ceremony saw Penzance Town Council elect its new mayor for the town, together with a new deputy mayor and civic officers.

At a ceremony held at St John’s Hall this week, councillors gathered to elect the new mayor and celebrate the achievements of many local residents, watched by an audience of invited guests, including the vice-chairman of Cornwall Council and mayors and community leaders from across the county.

Councillor Nicole Broadhurst was elected to serve as mayor for the coming year, making her the first black woman to hold the chain of office for the town.

Cllr Broadhurst said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Team Penzance: my fellow councillors, the staff and officers who work so hard and all have the same goal of making a positive difference to our town.

“I’m not Cornish, but my husband and I have made this our home, and we’ve been made very welcome, so it’s time to give something back. This is a huge honour for me, and I will not shirk my duties and responsibilities, but serve my community with immense pride.”

Appointed as Deputy Mayor was Councillor Penny Young, while Councillors Tracey Halliday and Jonathan How were appointed as civic deputies, who represent the council should the mayor and her deputy be unavailable.

As his final civic duty, the outgoing mayor Councillor Dick Cliffe presented awards to members of the public.

The Brian Spiegelhalter Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year Awards recognise individuals who have made a significant positive impact on their local communities.

Citizen of the Year was awarded to Paul Shaw of Penzance Community Flora Group, for his endless enthusiasm and hard work in chairing the committee and inspiring volunteers to make a real difference to the green spaces in and around Penzance.

Paul said: “I’m very honoured to receive this award, but I couldn’t do it without the rest of the group, and I must accept this on their behalf. So this goes to all the people who go out every Friday and Sunday with me, come rain or shine, just because they care about Penzance.”

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Ella Davey and Tamani Beare from Humphry Davey School for their work in raising awareness of the climate crisis through setting up the Cornish Climate Change group on social media, organising Penzance’s  Youth Strikes for Climate, taking part in the international Climate Crisis march held last month and volunteering for beach cleans and wild food cookery classes, all in addition to their school and sports commitments.

Tamani said: “We were inspired by watching Greta Thunberg and wanted to do something locally, so we did! We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved, and grateful for the support of our school and families, who’ve been behind us every step of the way.”

Cllr Cliffe also presented the Humphry Davy Prize to three students from Mounts Bay Academy, to recognise their achievements in chemistry and physics. Mia Finch, Lilyjane Roderick and Zoe George, who share a passion for science, won the prize for their sheer determination and perseverance to succeed in difficult subjects they often find challenging.

Finally, newly elected mayor Cllr Broadhurst presented Cllr Cliffe with a gift and thanked him for his tireless work and support in the community.

Cllr Cliffe said: “I joined politics to make a difference and being mayor has allowed me to do exactly that. Penzance is a distinctive town, and it’s been a busy two years, but it’s been an enormous honour and privilege and I’ve enjoyed every second of it.

I would like to thank the community groups, charities and organisations I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last two years; their contributions make such a positive difference to the vitality of our town and the cohesiveness of our community.

“Finally, I would like to wish Cllr Broadhurst every success in her new role as Mayor of Penzance. With the support team of deputies and officers she has behind her, I’m sure it will be a fantastic year.”