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Dereham has region's first Green mayor

PUBLISHED: 09:30 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 July 2010

Ann Bowyer - the first Green Party mayor of Dereham.

Ann Bowyer - the first Green Party mayor of Dereham.

DEREHAM has become has become the first town in East Anglia - and only the third in England - to have a Green mayor.

Ann Bowyer, a member of Dereham Town Council, was voted in to her new post, complete with mayoral chains, by a majority Tory council at its annual meeting last night.

DEREHAM has become has become the first town in East Anglia - and only the third in England - to have a Green mayor.

Ann Bowyer, a member of Dereham Town Council, was voted in to her new post, complete with mayoral chains, by a majority Tory council at its annual meeting last night.

Speaking after taking over the chains, the 54-year-old mother of three said: “It's quite an honour really.”

Mrs Bowyer has been a Green Party member since the early 1990s but only became a town councillor in 2003.

The council's only other Green member is Timothy Birt, who joined in 2007.

A spokesman for the Green Party last night said: “We can say with some confidence that she's not only the first in East Anglia, but only the third in England.

“The only other places that have had Green Party mayors are Oxford and Stroud.”

Mrs Bowyer said: “I'm a little apprehensive but I'm honoured to be chosen.

“It is an opportunity. We are not a political council. It's more about getting things done for Dereham; operating together to improve things in Dereham.”

Outgoing mayor Lynda Turner, who had served as a town councillor just a year before becoming mayor, said during her term she had: “Lunched with the Bishop of Norwich, ridden in a golf buggy with the High Sheriff, marched with town criers, shire horses and the armed services, kicked footballs, sung at nine carol services, played games with the Rainbows and ridden on the train.”

In her term the Christmas lights were improved massively, the Friday market has been moved back to Market Place and the town council has gained Quality Council status.

Mrs Bowyer said she hoped to continue to improve the town.

She has lived in Dereham 24 years and in Norfolk 30 years, after to moving to the county with husband David, who she met at university and who originally came from the county.

They have three children, Sinead, 26, Abigail, 24, and Bradley, 21.

She has worked in catering, has run Brief Encounters café at Wymondham station, and has been a supervisor at King's Park in Dereham.

Now she runs a horticultural business and is doing a course at Easton College in garden design.

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