‘Let’s put people before politics’
Town councillor Pete Samuels, pictured with fellow councillor and wife Brenda, has been re-elected as mayor of Saltash. PICTURE: HILARY FRANK
26th May 2021
By Suzanne Cleave
Pete Samuels was re-elected by a majority vote as mayor of Saltash at the annual town meeting last week.
It is believed to be the first time since 1974 when Saltash lost its borough status and the town council was formed, that a mayor has been re-elected for a consecutive term of office.
Cllr Samuels’ previous term of office lasted only nine months rather than a full year, as the handover from the previous mayor was delayed as a result of the first lockdown.
As an Independent, Cllr Samuels said he “promises to put people before politics and personalities.”
At the meeting, Cllr Samuels was supported by his wife, Brenda, who is also a Saltash town councillor and mayoress.
He thanked his fellow town councillors, Julia Peggs and Sarah Martin, who proposed and seconded his nomination for mayor. He also thanked other town councillors who supported him, together with others who encouraged him to stand for re-election.
The meeting was also attended by Cornwall councillor for Saltash Essa, Hilary Frank, who is also the outgoing chairman of Cornwall Council.
In his speech, Cllr Samuels said: “I would like to think that I am seen as displaying honesty, integrity, openness and respect towards all fellow members, whilst not allowing politics or personalities to get in the way of making decisions for the betterment of Saltash.
“I see myself as a team player, working with the chairs and vice chairs of committees, as well as members, supporting democratically decided policies and resolutions. During my short term of office, I have faced many challenges brought about by the pandemic, usually finding a solution to a problem, and a way to engage with our residents when the normal methods of engagement have not proven possible.”
He pledged to “look to work with outside bodies who are seeking to make Saltash an even better place to live and work.”
Richard Bickford was elected as deputy mayor and joined Cllr Samuels for thanking his fellow town councillors for their support.
He told the Voice: “I was very pleased to have been voted in Cllr Yates, who proposed my nomination said some very nice words.
“It’s an honour to take the role on. It will be much better I think, this year, to be able to do a bit more than the mayor and deputy were able to do last year.”
Cllr Bickford, who is one of the longest-serving councillors on the town council, said he is looking forward to resuming civic duties, particularly after the proposed June 21 easing of the lockdown rules.
Other schemes in the pipeline include the library project, town council related projects and Cornwall Council devolution plans.
“We’ve got an awful lot to do. From a personal perspective, I have pushed on with the station building project for the last few years, so I want to get the building properly used. We’re going to be very busy.”