Smile pledge from man set to be next Mayor of Peterborough

Mayor-elect George Simons, outside the Town Hall. Photo: Alan Storer/Johnston Press
Mayor-elect George Simons, outside the Town Hall. Photo: Alan Storer/Johnston Press
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THE Mayor-elect for Peterborough has been chosen and has vowed to “put a smile” on the face of the city as it celebrates a royal anniversary and the world’s top sporting event.

Cllr George Simons was put forward for the civic honour by fellow councillors at a full meeting of Peterborough City Council.

The 78-year-old Mayor-elect, who lives in Gunthorpe, has yet to announce the name of his deputy mayor, although a female councillor is known to be in the running.

Cllr Simons said it was also too soon for him to name which charities he will support during his term in office.

He said: “I’ve got them in my mind, but there are so many options at the moment it’s difficult to decide.

“I want to be good and I want to put a smile back on that town hall, but we can’t go in like a bull in a china shop.”

“I’m a Peterborian so I’m thinking about the best for the town hall and looking forward to being Mayor, because it’s a very important year with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

“It’s going to be a very important year and really enjoyable.”

The Conservative councillor for Paston intends to carry out his ceremonial duties accompanied by his wife of 54 years, Sylvia Simons (75) and his daughter, Cllr Sue Day.

Cllr Day, who also represents Paston on the city council, is expected to stand in for her mother at some civic events, if the mayoral couple see fit.

Sylvia Simons said: “I had to leave the room during the private meeting for the mayor’s selection, but from what I was told it was unanimous.

“I’m sure George will make a good Mayor. He’s a people person, he really enjoys what he does and he’s a positive man who looks for the good in everything.

“We are both thinking ‘what do we do now?’

“But we’ll take it day by day and learn what’s expected.”

Mayor elect Cllr George Simons became a councillor in 1988 and represented Stanground ward for eight years.

On May 6, 2010 he made a political comeback after recovering from major surgery, this time representing Paston alongside daughter Sue and grandson Cllr David Day.

Current Mayor Cllr Paula Thacker steps down in May. She said: “I will be very sad to leave because I’ve enjoyed my year. Hopefully the new mayor elect will enjoy his role.”

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