“They have gone above and beyond" - Barnsley mayor reprises role with emotional speech thanking front-line workers

Barnsley’s incumbent mayor has been officially sworn in today (May 20) at a socially distanced council meeting.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 21st May 2021, 1:46 pm

Labour councillor Caroline Makinson kept the chains of office for 2021-22 at the first in-person full council meeting since the pandemic began.

The council’s annual meeting was moved from the Town Hall to the Civic Centre in order for councillors sit apart.

Coun Makinson was originally welcomed as the mayor in October 2020 – instead of the traditional mayor making ceremony held in May due to restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Due to the postponed start to the mayor’s year, and the impact that the pandemic had on her role during her time as mayor, Coun Makinson has been warmly welcomed back to serve her full term for 2021-22.

 Coun Sarah Tattersall was also welcomed as deputy mayor for the year at the ceremony.

In an emotional speech, Coun Makinson said that being Barnsley’s mayor is a “fantastic privilege”, and used her speech to thank those rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine, and front line workers.

“They have gone above and beyond – I hope they realise how proud of them we all are.”

  “I can’t wait to be able to safely meet people face-to-face and get back out there into our communities. My chosen charities have taken a real knock throughout the pandemic, and I hope to help as much as possible through future fundraising activities.

“As restrictions lift, we can start rebuilding Barnsley and with our spirit and resilience, we will come back stronger than ever, and I can’t wait to be part of this.” 

Barnsley’s young mayor, 17-year-old Morgan Stear was also sworn in during the meeting.

Morgan, who hopes to teach English in Korea in the future, arrived at the meeting straight after an exam.

Morgan has been on Barnsley’s youth council for four years, and told the local democracy reporting service that she will focus on mental health during her time in the young mayor role.

“I focus a lot around mental health,” said Morgan.

“It’s something that’s personal to me, so I’ve always been really passionate about helping others.”