Brighton and Hove’s new mayor praised the city that she has called home for almost 30 years for being such a friendly and welcoming place.
Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn took up the ceremonial role of mayor after being elected unanimously at the annual council meeting at Brighton Town Hall today (Thursday 25 May).
She said: “I made my home in Brighton and Hove some 28 years ago and never imagined that I would one day become mayor of the city that I had quite fallen in love with. What an honour and a privilege.
“I loved – and still do – walking around the streets of Brighton and Hove and seeing all the stunning architecture from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods.
“So much to admire and be entranced by as so many others are who visit the city or live in it.
“I also never imagined that I would be able to walk down the main streets or along the seafront and bump into friends and acquaintances.
“I thought that Brighton was too big for that – but I was wrong. It’s such a friendly and welcoming city that you quickly feel at home here and as if you belong.
“How lucky are we to live in this vibrant and dynamic city where the arts and culture thrive and are available at every turn, thus securing an international reputation for excellence in this area.
“The Brighton Festival, Fringe Festival and Pride attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city every year and help to create the sense of fun and of cultural diversity that we are so famous for.
“The Open Houses during the festival are also a huge hit with people who flock to see them and also to have a good look inside other people’s houses – fascinating!
“It’s not just the arts and culture either. We now have our amazingly talented football team, Brighton and Hove Albion, going into the UEFA Europa League.
“This is a truly inspiring situation as Brighton and Hove Albion, formed in 1901, have never played in a European match before.
“It shows how far they have come, especially since having their new home at the Amex, which only ever got built because of the persistence of local politicians and with the help of (former Labour Deputy Prime Minister) John Prescott.
“So, huge congratulations to the team and their manager – and I’d like to speak for the city in saying how incredibly proud we are of them.”
Councillor O’Quinn announced her mayor’s charities
- the RSPCA in Patcham
- RISE, the domestic abuse survivors’ charity
- Impact Initiatives, which helps people to reach their full potential
- Together Co, a befriending and loneliness support charity
Peter Wells from the Inter-Faith Contact Group will be the mayor’s chaplain and her consort for the year will be her daughter Rachael.
And she thanked her predecessor, the former Green councillor Lizzie Deane.
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