A year of civic engagements, charity events and chairing ‘rowdy’ council debates awaits the new Lord Mayor of Sheffield, who was sworn in to office yesterday.
Coun Vickie Priestley, Lib Dem for Stannington, was elected as the city’s 117th Lord Mayor at a Town Hall ceremony in front of around 150 guests.
Coun Priestley, a professional cake decorator, was presented with the Chains of Office at the council’s annual general meeting.
She will take over from John Campbell, Labour councillor for Richmond, whose one-year term came to an end at the ceremony.
Coun Priestley said: “When I stood for election for Lord Mayor, I said I was a local lass looking for a job opportunity.
“I’m honoured to serve - it is a fantastic privilege to do so.”
Introducing the new Lord Mayor, Coun John Robson said: “Although outwardly a quiet person, one shouldn’t underestimate Vickie.
“I would advise all of my fellow councillors not to get on the wrong side of this formidable lady during a council debate! I wish her the best of luck when dealing with us rowdy councillors.”
Coun Priestley has served as a city councillor for 13 years and has also acted as chair of Bradfield Parish Council.
She admitted she was ‘terrified’ about giving her maiden speech, but said she expects to ‘settle in’ soon.
Following tradition, Vickie has chosen St Wilfrid’s, a group that works with homeless people, and the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity as her chosen charities.
She will act as an ambassador for both while Lord Mayor.
The hospital holds a place close to her heart as it was where her grandson was treated for chest problems.
She said: “I’m looking forward to working closely with my chosen charities.
“What I offer is graft, commitment and a determination to go wherever I can to help charities, volunteers and community groups doing their best in these difficult times.”
The Lord Mayor is a ceremonial title held by an elected representative of Sheffield Council.
The role involves attending approximately 1,000 functions during the year and forging links with other cities.
Coun Peter Rippon, Labour councillor for Shiregreen and Brightside, was elected Deputy Mayor at the Town Hall meeting.