Brighton born and bred councillor Anne Meadows has been chosen to be the next mayor of Brighton and Hove.
The decision was made at a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council last night.
The full council meeting also stuck with tradition by nominating the present mayor, Councillor Geoff Wells, to become deputy mayor when his term expires in May.
Councillor Wells, a Conservative, sits for Woodingdean.
Councillor Meadows, a Labour member for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, said that she was honoured and delighted to be selected as the city’s next mayor.
She was first elected 16 years ago and has represented the area ever since.
She was born and raised in Bevendean, attending local schools and marrying her husband Tony in the Holy Nativity Church in Norwich Drive 30 years ago next May.
The couple have two sons, Harry and Scott.
When she was first elected, her oldest son was nine months old and she was expecting her second.
So she gave up work to devote herself full time to being a councillor, mother and wife.
Councillor Meadows said: “I fully understand the problem of balancing working life with a family life.
“I am most proud of the community work that I do.
“I am very active in the community and believe in giving something back to the community.
“I haven’t really had time to think about what plans I have, except to bring the deprived communities closer together and closer to the council.”
Councillor Meadows was chairman of the scrutiny committee that identified “studentification” as an issue to be tackled in Brighton and Hove.
Having chaired the Adult Social Care and Health Committee before the council adopted the cabinet system, she has since chaired the Adult Social Care and Housing Scrutiny Committee.
Councillor Meadows’s role as mayor could prove decisive after the elections in May – if she is re-elected.
She will have the casting vote at council meetings at what may be a hung council – with no party having overall control.
Although the Conservatives currently run the council, they do not have a majority.
They are currently having to cut spending although they also hope to be able to freeze council tax.
At the moment the Conservatives have 25 out of the 54 seats on the council. The Labour and Green parties have 13 each and the Liberal Democrats have two seats. One seat is vacant – in Hangleton and Knoll – since the death of Conservative councillor David Smart last week.