The former chairman of the council’s Planning Committee, Councillor Lynda Hyde, has been chosen to be the next mayor of Brighton and Hove.
Councillor Hyde, 67, one of the three Conservative members for Rottingdean Coastal ward, will succeed Councillor Brian Fitch, the Labour member for Hangleton and Knoll, who is due to retire next May.
After being chosen unopposed and unanimously as the mayor-elect, Councillor Hyde, who was born in Brighton, said: “I’m very grateful, very honoured and I’m delighted that I’ve been selected to serve this fantastic city of Brighton and Hove.
“You will be such a hard act to follow, Mr Mayor, but I’ll do my best.”
She was proposed by Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the opposition Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council, and seconded by fellow Tory, Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn.
He said that Councillor Hyde, who was first elected 15 years ago and is the Tories’ spokesman on the Planning Committee, was a very hard-working councillor. She also serves on the Licensing Committee where her work includes hearing applications and reviews for various licences.
Councillor Hyde said afterwards: “I’m immensely proud and grateful for the support of all councillors.”
She said that she had hoped to have the opportunity to become mayor as “I’m so proud of this city”. And she praised “the civic pride that the residents of this city have”.
She looked forward to the many events that fill the mayoral calendar, adding: “The attendance of the mayor adds to these functions and to the cohesion of the local community. In many instances it increases the funds raised at charitable events.”
Traditionally the outgoing mayor becomes deputy mayor for the next year but Councillor Fitch is retiring from the council at the local elections next May.
In his place, Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, the chairman of the Economic Development and Culture Committee and one of the Green members for Queen’s Park, was chosen.
Councillor Bowden was nominated by Councillor Bill Randall, who became the first Green mayor of Brighton and Hove, in May 2012.
Councillor Randall described his friend and colleague as “an outstanding ward councillor”. Councillor Bowden was seconded as deputy mayor-elect by fellow Green, Councillor Ruth Buckley.
The selection of Councillor Hyde and Councillor Bowden as mayor-elect and deputy mayor-elect was made at the meeting of the full council on Thursday (11 December).
The role of mayor includes chairing council meetings, representing the city and the council, receiving visiting dignitaries and visiting dozens of local organisations. The mayor also hosts receptions to recognise individuals and organisations and traditionally raises money for mayoral charities.