New Margate mayor and mayoress appointed at Charter Trustees annual meeting

Margate mayor Cllr Rob Yates and Mayoress Iris Johnston Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet councillor Rob Yates has been named as the newest Margate mayor with  Iris Johnston, a former mayor and council leader, as mayoress.

The appointments were confirmed at the annual meeting of the Margate Charter Trustees at the town’s Baptist Church last night (May 22).

The mayoral appointment was proposed by Cllr Elysa d’Abbro who said he was a “strong voice” for renters rights and involved in his community. The appointment was seconded by Cllr Alan Currie.

Cllr Yates said he was “inspired” to see so many people gathered for the meeting, adding: “I believe we, as a community, can achieve anything.”

Seats filled at Margate Baptist Church Photo Frank Leppard

Revealing he had given up his wind farm job for full time politics, he said: “It’s not the usual career path but what gives me hope is seeing so many people in the room who have taken risks to set up businesses, volunteered for community groups or started CICs.”

Cllr Yates talked of the 10th anniversaries for Thanet food Link and Margate Park run and noted how community comes together to help when it is needed.

He said his aims for the mayoral year were ‘participatory democracy’ with the people of Margate involved in making decisions for the town.

Flowers for outgoing mayor Cllr Heather Keen Photo Frank Leppard

Outgoing mayor Heather Keen, who attended 133 events last year,  said it had been an honour to be involved in everything from  Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the Queen and the following events marking her death, to opening the path for Margate Town council which now has the required signatures to move on to the next step of the process.

She thanked  those who had assisted during the year including her mayoress Caroline Friday, clerk Ingrid Spencer, mace bearer Cliff East and mayor’s cadet Sophia Perkins.

Photo Frank Leppard

Her last ‘duty’ was the presentation of an award to resident Ann Wells for 70 years service to the scouting organisation.

Cllr John Edwards takes the role of deputy mayor with wife Pat as deputy mayoress.

Mayor’s cadet for the coming year was named as Katie Skabarde.

The event was attended by other town dignitaries including new Ramsgate mayor Pat Moore. Food was supplied by Sundowners and Gina’s Bakery.