BASINGSTOKE and Deane has a new mayor following a ceremony held by the borough council.

At the annual mayor making event on Thursday (May 12), Cllr Paul Miller was unanimously voted in as the Mayor of Basingstoke, having previously served as deputy mayor since May 2021.

Cllr Miller is the 71st Mayor of Basingstoke, and the 44th since the establishment of the borough. He takes over from the 2021-2022 mayor, Cllr Onnalee Cubitt. His wife, Sandra Miller, will be the mayoress. 

Proposer Cllr Chris Tomblin said it was a “pleasure” to put forward Cllr Miller for the position.

Meanwhile Cllr Richard Court - whose late wife Cllr Anne Court previously held the role of mayor - seconded the nomination, adding :”I am delighted to support Cllr Miller. It’s a role that is all encompassing. It’s a role that, most mayors accept, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.”

Cllr Miller, who was born in Shrewsbury, moved to Chineham, Basingstoke, in 2007. He is a former RAF pilot and squadron commander. He is currently chair of the Chineham Parish council, as well as ward councillor. 

Cllr David Leeks (Tadley, Conservative), was unanimously voted in as his deputy, with Cllr Kerry Carruthers as proposer and Cllr Laura Edwards as seconder.

SEE ALSO: Cllr Onnalee Cubitt spreads the word about cadet volunteer campaign

Passing on the baton, retiring mayor Cllr Cubitt said: “It has been a huge honour and a privilege. I am super proud of this borough. We have many many wonderful people this year, doing wonderful things for our community.

“My year has affirmed how important faith, civil society and the arts are to our borough. They provide the glue which wields us together, which makes communities flourish and prosper.

“Basingstoke and Deane is an extraordinary place, a wonderful borough, which I love with all my heart.”

Cllr Miller offered a vote of thanks to his predecessor, adding: “Each mayor carries out their duties in their unique way and Cllr Cubitt has demonstrated that. She will be remembered for connecting with all sections of our community. A very busy time.”

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Each year, the mayor selects charities to support throughout their term. Cllr Paul Miller announced that mental health organisation Tough Enough to Care and cancer charity The Pink Place, will be his causes for 2022-2023.

Addressing the full council as mayor for the first time, he added: “My theme for my mayoral year is community engagement. We have seen, through the past two years of the Covid pandemic, how this dreadful disease has devastated communities around the world, but also how these communities have come together to support those most vulnerable. 

“We are no faced with other global pressures, once again impacting on us all. The wonderful people, both young and old, that devote their time to support others in our communities should be applauded and I will do my upmost to recognise and publicise their achievements as much as possible. 

“Community engagement should be the watchword as soon as we step out our front doors. If we could consider each other a neighbour, a friend, or a brother, it would be a wonderful wonderful world.” 

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