New Mayor of Rotherham 'aware' of the responsibility the chain means

The newly elected Mayor of Rotherham said the chain “opens up completely different avenues” and pledged to work with children as the borough is preparing for 2025.
Cllr Robert Taylor, the Mayor of Rotherham.Cllr Robert Taylor, the Mayor of Rotherham.
Cllr Robert Taylor, the Mayor of Rotherham.

Rotherham Council has elected Cllr Robert Taylor who used to work for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue for more than 30 years as the new Mayor of the town in the 2023/24 municipal year this afternoon.

Mayor Taylor was described as “brave” and “compassionate” by colleagues at a ceremonial council meeting at town hall.

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The council celebrated the previous Mayor Cllr Tajamal Khan and has also elected Cllr Sheila Cowen as the new Deputy Mayor of Rotherham.

Rotherham Mayor Robert Taylor told the Local Democracy Service that being a Deputy Mayor or a Mayor was different compared to being a councillor and he was aware of the responsibility of the position (and the chain).

Mayor Taylor said: “It’s completely different. I’ve said to people when asked if I’ve noticed anything different (from being a councillor to being elected as Deputy Mayor and Mayor) it’s vastly different. Having this, the Mayor chain on, – or the Deputy Mayor chain on – it opens up completely different avenues.

People really open up to sit down, having a conversation with you. That is what I’m looking forward to this year – more of that.

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“I do appreciate the history behind it. If you go up the stairs (at town hall), you see all the previous Mayors. It’s a massive shoe to fill, really, but it’s also presenting an opportunity.

“This is something I’ve never ever contemplated that I’d be doing. It was not until recent years when I thought if I win that position I’d be able to do some good for my town. I am aware of this responsibility.

“The greatest professionalism and dedication, that is what I am going to do.”

When he was asked about his goal for the next year, he added wanted to work towards causes he was passionate about.

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He said: “First and foremost to represent the borough in the best possible way. There are also a couple of things I am passionate about – for example, health and wellbeing and working with children because I am aware of this borough working towards being the Children’s Capital Culture in 2025.”

He announced that his charities will be The Feoffees of The Common Lands of Rotherham and Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

He added: “(A year from now) I’ll be just happy if people think ‘he did a decent job’ and he is ‘true to his word’.