'A credit to the office' - Dereham mayor makes history with re-election success
PUBLISHED: 10:58 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:10 16 May 2018
A town councillor has become the first mayor to be re-elected since the formation of the council.
Hilary Bushell, who has served as Dereham’s mayor for the past 12 months, was re-elected during Tuesday night’s Annual Meeting of Dereham Town Council.
The decision makes her the first person two serve two years in office since the council transformed from an urban district council to a town council.
Councillors praised Mrs Bushell for her year in office, with councillor Harry Clarke saying she is “a credit to the office” and councillor Linda Monument calling her “a good ambassador for Dereham”.
Mrs Monument added that she was “delighted” that Mrs Bushell would be mayor for another year.
Speaking after the election, Mrs Bushell said it was “absolutely wonderful” to have been re-elected.
“I really look forward to representing Dereham and to meeting many more wonderful people in this town. You don’t realise how many wonderful people there are until you start going round and I’ve met people of all ages - young and old - and I’ve been greeted with the same respect and interest by all and it has been truly wonderful.
“I think I am a very lucky lady,” she said.
Last year Mrs Bushell vowed to support people with mental health issues and bring recognition to some of the town’s unsung heroes. She did this by showing her support to numerous charities, including donating a portion of her civic events allowance in April.
This year she said she will be giving her support to a charity that supports the country’s fire fighters.
She said: “Mind was my charity for last year, this year it will be the Fire Brigade Benevolent Fund. I have had an affiliation with the fire service for many years and I think it is one way I can say thank you to them.
“But I will also be helping the diasbility charity Sense on a more local basis as they are a very, very good cause in Dereham.”
The meeting also saw the election of councillor Ann Bowyer as deputy mayor, replacing the current deputy Thomas Monument. The deputy is often expected to replace the previous mayor but Mr Monument would have been controversial choice due to a conviction in December for assaulting a former partner.