Last year, when Cllr. Pete West had just been appointed as Mayor, he was criticised for selecting 27 mayoral charities instead of the usual two or three.
At the time I wrote: “The new mayor, Cllr Peter West, is taking an interesting and novel approach to his charities. Rather than selecting two or three who would benefit from his fundraising efforts, he has decided to work with a total of 27 charities.
“While the mayor’s charity committee traditionally organises events throughout the year, Mayor West will be supporting events organised by the charities themselves.
“Will this approach be better or worse? I think it is certainly worth a try even though it breaks, in some way, with tradition. If the 27 charities each raise £3,000 with the support of the Mayor, that would raise £81,000, itself beating Lynda Hyde’s record.
“As one of the twenty seven charities chosen by Cllr West, Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) will use this opportunity to raise as much as possible.”
The approach taken by Pete West was questioned at the time. With the benefit of hindsight it can be seen as an unambiguous success. He didn’t just raise £81,000, he helped raise a massive £94,000.
Cllr West has attended almost 1,000 events, and supported so many initiatives organised by his charities. He has been very generous with his time in supporting BHT, and with his support we have raised far more than the £3,000 mentioned above.
As Pete West hands over the chains of office this afternoon to his successor, Cllr Mo Marsh, can I say he has been a truly wonderful mayor of Brighton and Hove, and Geraldine Keenan has been a fantastic mayoress. Thank you both for all you have done.